In the Tamil Nadar community, blessings from Ancestors are considered to be sacred and divine. Each family has their ancestors who have been the protectors of the entire family. They are remembered and offered poojas during any auspicious event in the family. The Tamil Nadar matrimony ceremony is full of events in which the blessings of ancestors are sought with utmost attention and sincerity.
Speciality of Padayal Ritual in Tamil Nadar Weddings
There is a separate ceremony solely to gain the ancestral blessings before the newlywed couple begins their life together. This event takes place in both the houses just after the Swami Kumbiduthal or Pooja ceremony. The photos of the ancestors are placed with great care in a clean and special room. The ancestors are worshipped by lighting a kuthuvilakku. The family members get together and prayers are held to ensure that the couple is blessed with all the happiness and joy for a lifetime. The personal belongings of the ancestors like spectacles, pens, books, etc are also placed near the photos. Sandalwood and Kumkum are applied to the photos. For female ancestors, only kumkum is applied.
Special offerings called padayal are placed on silver plates. They contain coconuts, fruits, flowers, sandal paste, Kumkum, etc. The ornaments and clothes bought for the wedding purpose are also placed nearby. Banana leaves in odd numbers, filled with food varieties like sweet Pongal, Rava panniyaram and other eatables are offered to the ancestors. The bride and groom pray to their respective ancestors and ask for blessings in every step of their new life.
The Tamil Nadar community beliefs are based on strong faith and trust, that the family prospers upon receiving the blessings of their forefathers. Following such customs is considered to be auspicious and is conducted with pride. Even today, the elders of the family make sure that such customs are practiced where the younger generation obeys and participates wholeheartedly.