Oonjal meaning ‘swing’ in Tamil is a custom unique to the Iyer subsect of Tamilian Brahmins. The bride and groom sit together on the oonjal, which is decorated with flowers and ornaments and rocked gently. As part of this custom, relatives and friends sing auspicious songs, bless them and feed them a mixture of milk, sugar and banana. Water and lit lamps are carried around the swing to keep away demons and ghosts. Elderly ladies throw red and yellow colored rice balls in all directions to ward off evil spirits.
The chains of the swing symbolize the karmic connection with the Almighty and the swinging motion is representative of the highs and lows of life. Through this custom, the couple is showered with blessings so that they are able to bear these ups and downs with equanimity and face the challenges ahead as a single unit and in a steadfast manner. The presence of friends and family members during this ritual signifies their support and help during the couples’ married life.
For more about Tamil Iyer weddings, please click here
Care to share the highs and lows of your special day? Okay I will go first – High was of course during the Eye to Eye ceremony and low was when the groom didnt turn up!
I mean he didn’t turn up on time – quite the same thing in my dictionary. Here I was, up since 4 am, all decked up from top to toe, caked with make-up, dying of hunger and he couldn’t even be bothered to turn up on time? Did he even want to get married to me? How dare he keep me waiting…ahh there he was – at that moment I could have cheerfully murdered him.
His excuse? Traffic jam.
If there weren’t so many witnesses…
Quite an auspicious beginning wouldn’t you say? 😉
For more information about the blog please click here and for the readers of Moonshine, here’s Chapter 55