The term ‘Lagna Pathirikai' translates to a wedding invitation in Tamil. The priest officially announces the wedding date to all the guests who are present for the nichayathartham. One can either do the lagna patrika matching online or it is handwritten by the priest after looking through the horoscopes of the bride and groom and finalising the right time for their wedding. The pathirikai carries the name of all the family members of the bride and groom in addition to a mention of the auspicious time and date for the wedding.
The Agreement for Marriage
Lagna pathirikai is an essential part of the wedding rituals in South Indian weddings mainly because, duriMuhurthamng this ritual, the blessing of parents, grandparents and ancestors are sought. The time of the marriage is announced to all the guests and the pathirikai is signed by the heads of both bride and groom families, thereby, finalizing the date and time of the 'muhurtham'. Once this is done, both families exchange gifts.
The Significance of the Lagna Pathirikai
The date and time of the ‘’ (wedding) is the main element of the lagna pathirikai. The main ritual has to be performed within a time referred to as ‘Muhurtha Kalam’ which is three and three-fourths Nazhigai. (Nazhigai was a unit of time that was used in the ancient age and each nazhigai consists of 24 minutes making the ‘Muhurtha Kalam’ one and a half hours).
The Traditional Invite
Lagna pathirikai forms the basis for the ‘Manjal pathirikai’ meaning ‘yellow invitation’ which is a traditional invitation that is printed in Tamil specifically to be sent to the elders in the family. The manjal pathirikai has a pink outer cover and is entirely yellow on the inside. Since yellow and red are considered to be auspicious colours, only these colours are used for the traditional wedding invitation.
The Present Day Scene
Today, there are a lot of lagna patrika designs that you can choose from but mostly the traditional one is retained. Some also use the lagna patrika format in English to make it easy for friends and relatives who are not able to read Tamil.