Vanniyar, the Kshatriyas of the Agni Vansh in Tamil Nadu,isone of the dominant communities of the society. They are simple hard-working people who have settled in northern Tamil Nadu. Primarily warriors, they are now actively pursuing agriculture,while the youth have moved towards professional careers.
Marriages in Vanniyar Community
The Vanniyar matrimony largely depends on recommendations of family and friends. The social gatherings are also popular venues for matchmaking. With the passage of time, the modern methods are also being adopted to initiate the youth into matrimony.The wedding ceremony is conducted by Tamil Oduvars. There are some very significant ceremonies, which must be performed during the process. These are detailed below:
The groom with his family visits the bride’s house and in the presence of the head of the family, places a thamboolam comprising of jewels, money, milk, flowers, coconut and Vethilaipak. He presents it to the mother of the bride and asks for the girl’s hand in marriage
- Pre – Marriage Ceremonies:
Special Pots for Marriage
Before marriage, it is a custom to take the bride on a procession to the groom’s house. She is accompanied by women belonging to the potter caste, who carry the pots that have been specially prepared for the ceremony.
Decorating the Mandap:
Certain items that are commonly present in the décor are a milk post or the handle of a plough, a mortar pestle, a large mud pot, an ornamental light and a pot with a lamp inside. A Vanni tree stick is considered auspicious and is used as the first pole for construction of the dais.
This ceremony is performed separately for the bride and the groom. They are made to sit on a wooden seat and five women apply oil using a grass stem. Gram flour is then applied over it. The next step is the arati using red coloured water, which symbolises warding off all evils. The bath is the final step during which five small cakes are placed on the body as a ritual.
The priest ties the sacred yellow thread (Kanganam) around the groom’s wrists. The groom later ties it around the bride’s wrists before the marriage ceremony begins.
Tying the Thali
The “Thali” is placed in a plate along with the auspicious coconut, betel and areca nut and is blessed by all the elders. The groom then ties it around the bride’s neck, while the holy verses are being chanted.The couple is then blessed by the audience
Tying of Pattam
Pattam is tied on the foreheads of the couple after they swap places and their clothes are tied together.
The couple goes around the milk-post and the mandap three times. The groom then puts the Metti for the bride. This marks the conclusion of the ceremony.
Indian weddings are fun and enjoyable. Different states have different rituals with the same essential process. The guests enjoy the wedding ceremonies as the couple get ready for a new life together.