Tamil Nadar weddings have some very interesting rituals. Once the wedding has been fixed, a ceremony similar to the engagement function takes place. This is called the Poo Vaithal ritual. The main significance of the traditional ritual is establishing the bond between the mother in law and daughter in law. Here the most important element is the presence of flowers. Flowers adorn the house and there are floral decorations everywhere. The groom's family brings gifts of coconuts, flowers, bananas, etc. They come bearing gifts of love and are eager to establish good relations with the bride's family.
What is the Significance of Poo Vaithal Ritual in Tamil Nadar Weddings?
The groom's side brings gifts to the bride such as betel leaves, coconut, turmeric, flowers, fruits and sweets. The ritual in this ceremony is the ‘Poo Vaithal’ meaning placing the flower, where the future mother-in-law gives the flower to the bride symbolizing acceptance of the girl as an addition to the family thereby giving her blessing for the marriage.
If the girl consents to get married to her son, she allows the to-be mother-in-law to place the flowers on her head. Likewise, if the girl is not keen on getting married to this boy, she has the full liberty to disagree with the request to place flowers on her head. The other female relatives and the sisters-in-law also have their turn respectively. Instead of exchanging rings, the flowers are the main symbol of confirming the engagement. Nowadays there have been slight changes to the function.
Earlier in the Hindu wedding, the groom used to stay away as he was supposed to leave the decision making to the elders of the family. These days, the groom also accompanies his family members to the Poo Vaithal function. There are instances where the ring exchange also takes place.
The Poo Vaithal ceremony is a good example of a ritual that forms the strong foundation between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. It is expected that the mother-in-law sees the new girl as her daughter itself. It is important in any family that the women of the house share a healthy connection and try to live happily. Once this bond is firm, the whole household will reflect happiness and joy.