Sumangali Pooja
Potli and Batwa

Sumangali Pooja

Sumangali Pooja is an all ladies function – males not allowed! Yes, you have heard it right! This pooja is done to invoke the blessings from the ladies from the family who have passed away as Sumangali – a married woman who passed away before her husband. Sumangali is considered as blessed and this ritual is considered as a thanksgiving to the departed soul.

Sumangali Prarthana is a ritual performed before starting any auspicious event in the family like marriage, upanayanam, etc. It is conducted first in the bride’s home before the marriage seeking the blessings of the ladies in her father’s lineage i.e. grandmother, great grandmother, etc. The same ritual is performed after marriage in the home of the bridegroom after the new bride arrives.

There is a certain way in which the pooja is performed. It is generally not performed on Tuesdays and Saturdays. A day of good asterism is chosen for the function. Sumangali women within the extended family are invited in odd numbers of 5, 7, 9, etc. Certain families have a tradition of inviting a Kanya (Girl) also.

The invitees …….. pondugals are welcomed and honoured by the host family. They are given sesame oil, turmeric, shikakai, and mehendi. Traditionally, these invited women must have an oil bath and apply turmeric to themselves as it is considered auspicious. They are supposed to wear nine yards madi saree. They also have to observe fast till the pooja is over. The host also has to observe fast. The function is presided over by the senior women members of the family who ensure that all the preparations are properly done. A Kuthu Vilakku (5 faced lamp) is lit just before the pooja.

At the pooja venue, two small Kolams (Rangoli) are placed and two Manai Palagais (wooden planks) are placed on it. On the first Manai Palagai, a nine-yard saree is wrapped as if a senior Sumangali is seated. This is Pudavai Ilai. The nuni side of the saree should be kept facing the north direction. The dress of the Kanya Girl is kept on the second Manai Plagai. All the items like manjal, poo, small mirror, comb, bangles are kept on both the saree and dress. A small garland is also tied around. Two huge banana leaves called Swami Ilai are placed in front of the Manai. Women pray to the departed souls for the good health and longevity of their husbands and to bless their families with abundance.
Later,food is servedon the pudavai ilia fist and then to all pondugals. The elder Sumangali lady in the family performs the neivedhyam and aarati to the pudavai ilia. It is firmly believed that the wishes made at this time will be fulfilled.

Once the pondugals finish food, they are made to sit and turmeric and manjal is applied to all of them. They are then given saree or blouse piece and the Sumangali Kit containing Kumkum, haldi, mirror, comb, bangles, bindi packet etc which they usually receive in their in their saree pallu. All family members do namaskaram to the pondugals and the kanya.

You can now purchase the Sumangali Pooja Kits online to suit your budget at www.weddingshoppe.co.in as also at www.tamilweddingplanner.com

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