The wedding rituals in a Tamil Vanniyar Kshatriyar family are grand and celebrated with pomp and show. The traditional customs and ceremonies depict the presence of a golden heritage of culture and pride. Most of the wedding ceremonies in earlier days used to prolong to three to four days. It was a time when the whole family would get together and enjoy a great time together. These days, as everyone is pressed for time, the main rituals are carried out and the celebrations have been shortened to 1-2 days. However, there is no shortage of festivity and joy. Pre Wedding rituals, as well as post-wedding ceremonies, are still carried out with much fervour.
What is Pen Azhaithal Ritual in Tamil Vanniyar Kula Kshatriyar Wedding?
The Pen Azhaithal in the Vanniyar Kula Sathriyan caste is a pre-wedding ceremony of great importance. The Vanniyar marriages are normally held at the bridegroom's place. The bride and her family reach the residence the day before. This is a grand occasion, called Pen Azhaithal, meaning the reception of the bride and is carried out as a beautiful ritual.
The bride and her family reach the groom's village and move on to offer prayers in the nearby local temple. They ask for a happy beginning for the bride in her new home. By then, the grooms' parents, accompanied by their relatives, join the bride's people. They go to see their new daughter-in-law in a procession bearing gifts. Women are dressed in traditional attire and will carry silver plates with the Seer Varisai (gift items). These are offered to the bride’s family and the whole group then moves to the bridegroom’s residence. Here a tasty feast awaits them at night. Friends and relatives of both families enjoy this meal together and have lots of bonding time together.
Each ritual in the Vanniyar Kula Sathriyan caste in Tamil Nadu follows their age-old customs and are conducted to seek blessings for the new couple.