Kongu Wedding Proceedings

KonguVellalars, sometimes referred to as Gounder, are a community from the western region of Tamil Nadu, which is known as Kongu Nadu. The community known for their hard work, follows well refined wedding customs which reflect their living style.

PoruthamParthal

In Gounder community parents arrange most of the marriages. After confirming the willingness of their son or daughter for marriage, Inporuthamparthal, it starts with matching the horoscope, analysing the economic and social status of the family, their financial conditions and earning capabilities, and the level of education. The factors that play a crucial role in the bride or groom selection.

Nichyadhaartham

The confirmation of the marriage called the Nichyadhaartham is arranged on a convenient and auspicious day, where both the families along with their dear and near meet to confirm the proposal and fix up an approximate date, time and venue for the marriage. The bride’s family will complete the occasion by offering a grand feast known as ‘parupanchotruvirundhu’ (a feast comprises of rice and dhal) to the groom’s family.

Rites before marriage:

In Gounder marriages the ceremonial marriage rites are elaborately conducted for three days. They follow the old sangam period marriage traditions which do not include chanting of vedic hymns and rising of holy fire. The Gounder marriages offer a very good scope for participation from other communities. The other communities that participate in the marriage rituals include

  • Navidhar (barber)- who performs the role of inviting the relatives for the marriage and sings the Mangala vaazhthu song Vannar (washer man)- erects the decorated temporary shed for the marriage called the pandal
  • Kuyavar (potter)-supplies the earthers pots needed for the marriage rituals
  • Kammalar (carpenter)-provides the boxes made of wood  for a ritual called madaikalamvaithal
  • Maadhaari (cobbler)-makes new chappals for bridegroom as well as bride
  • Pandaram (cook)-used to perform pooja for village gods and undertakes the work of cooking also in Kongu Vellalar marriages.

Arumaikaarar a revered and senior member of the community blessed with a wife and child/children will conduct the marriage ceremonies. Similarly a senior woman member is selected as Arumaikaari. Arumaikaari along with Arumaikaarar also will conduct certain marriage rituals.

Marriage

NaalVirundhu (1st day of the marriage)

The Gounder marriage commences with NaalVirundhu on the first day. The feast is arranged by the close relatives of the bridegroom and the bride for creating a comfortable atmosphere between the families.

MuhurthaKaal (2nd Day)

On the second day of the marriage the muhurthakaal (a long-decorated bamboo pole) is erected by usually 9 married ladies to showcase the commencement of the marriage.

Muhurtham (3rd Day)

The third day of the marriage is very important. The marriage commences with playing mangalavadyams or sacred musical instruments and gets completed with the tying of thali at the fixed muhurtham time. Exchanging of garlands will mark completion of the wedding rituals.The marriage rites such as KaappuKattudhal, Tharaivarthal and Kaithalampattrudhal performed before and during the marriage point out the rights and responsibilities bestowed on the couples through the marriage.

KalyanaVirundhu

The Gounder marriage is complete only after the KalyanaVirundhu. It includes extravagant and lavish vegetarian food items served on plantain leaves. The feast will adequately serve taste buds of the guests to bring them joy.

After the Marriage

After the wedding ceremony, the bride is taken to the groom house and the groom will again be taken to the brides house which are called ‘Maapillai& Ponnu Alaithal’. There after the new couple takes charge in to their new life.

It does not all end there. The celebrations continue even after the marriage in the form of the first Pongal, first Aadi and first Deepavali which are celebrated with cheer in the bride’s house. There will be gifts from the bride’s parents to show their love and support to the young couple.

 

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