Pattam is one of the traditional Tamil wedding rituals in a Mudaliyar wedding which is unique. Once the Thali tying ceremony also called the Mangalya Dharanam is completed this ritual takes place.
- The bride who is sitting on the right of the groom will swap her place and sit to the left of her husband. It is said that by doing so they have now taken the woman form of Lord Siva called the Ardhanareshwara. The bride and the groom are now said to be inseparable
- The edge of the saree of the bride and the Angavastram which is a cloth over the groom's shoulder is tied together as it signifies that they are now a couple.
- The groom and the bride's maternal uncle will tie a piece of gold (Pattam) over the foreheads of the groom and bride for the purpose of showcasing their relationship.
- For the bride, the pattern of the Pattam is a peepal tree leaf shape
- For the groom, it will be in the shape of Vaishnavati Namam
- The sisters and mother-in-law will tie the pattam. Even close relatives like paternal cousins also called Pangalis can tie this Pattam.
- The gold tied in this pattam is later on added to the Mangalsutra thread in a separate ceremony post wedding to be worn by the bride till the time she remains a sumangali.
Significance of Pattam Kattuthal Ritual in Tamil Mudaliyar Weddings
Tying this piece of gold on the forehead of the bride by the groom's relatives has great significance. It is believed that when the groom's sister ties it, she is symbolically welcoming the bride to her family and that she is ready to cooperate and help her in domestic matters. When the mother-in-law ties, it is a gesture that shows that she is ready to hand over the family management to the daughter-in-law.
In the present day and age, however, this pattam is often given as pieces of gold that the bride can wear. Some substitute it for gold pendants, earrings, etc. which the bride can use frequently. Nowadays even the maternal cousins of the bride and groom tie pattams for the new couple.