Oonjal – A Tamil Brahmin Wedding Ritual

mumbai_candid_wedding_photographer_tamil brahmin_wedding_photographer_Tambrahm_Pradakshinaa-K+V13.jpgmumbai_candid_wedding_photographer_tamil brahmin_wedding_photographer_Tambrahm_Pradakshinaa-oonjal1.jpgTamil Brahmin (Tam-Brahm) weddings are always special for the unique rituals that are performed.With many days of celebrations, spreading across many rituals for the couple and their family a Tamil Brahmin wedding promises to be wedding experience that nobody, including the bride, groom, family and guests, will ever forget!

mumbai_candid_wedding_photographer_tamil brahmin_wedding_photographer_Tambrahm_Pradakshinaa-oonjal13Oonjal takes place immediately after the Kashi Yatra & Exchange of Garlands. Oonjal is a swing that is beautifully decorated with flowers and ornaments for the bride & the groom to be seated & then the swing is gently rocked to and fro.The swing symbolizes the strength that the couple has to find in each other during rocky times.

As a sign of merriment, the couple are fed with sweetened milk and bananas.

mumbai_candid_wedding_photographer_tamil brahmin_wedding_photographer_Tambrahm_Pradakshinaa-oonjal11.jpg

mumbai_candid_wedding_photographer_tamil brahmin_wedding_photographer_Tambrahm_Pradakshinaa-oonjal5.jpgThe Oonjal keeps rocking and the bride & groom is not allowed to touch their feet on the ground. As they swing in karmic divinity, the elder relatives throw red and yellow coloured rice balls onto them in four different directions.This wonderful ritual not only gives joy but wonderful wedding memories to look back…

mumbai_candid_wedding_photographer_tamil brahmin_wedding_photographer_Tambrahm_Pradakshinaa-oonjal8mumbai_candid_wedding_photographer_tamil brahmin_wedding_photographer_Tambrahm_Pradakshinaa-oonjal12mumbai_candid_wedding_photographer_tamil brahmin_wedding_photographer_Tambrahm_Pradakshinaa-oonjal3.jpg

Elder  women of the family take turns to go around the couple, singing songs and blessing them. The atmosphere turns merry with the hymns of the Laali Laali songs.

mumbai_candid_wedding_photographer_tamil brahmin_wedding_photographer_Tambrahm_Pradakshinaa-oonjal2mumbai_candid_wedding_photographer_tamil brahmin_wedding_photographer_Tambrahm_Pradakshinaa-oonjal7

mumbai_candid_wedding_photographer_tamil brahmin_wedding_photographer_Tambrahm_Pradakshinaa-oonjal9.jpgThe women then bend to touch the feet of the couple and smear their feet with a mixture of milk and sandalwood paste. Then the groom takes the bride’s hand in his in a particular fashion and leads her for the Kanya Dhanam.

J+D (23).jpgTamil Brahmin weddings are one of South-India’s most joyous celebrations, and the Oonjal is the main ingredient to bring life to this event.

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