Sep 6 2009
The Tamil Manjal Neerattu Vizha ‘function’ (’Turmeric Bathing Ceremony’) is the last part of the coming of age celebration for a Tamil girl. This is done after the girl’s first menstruation, and marks her transition into womanhood.
Ritual is not too dissimilar to a marriage ceremony, when lot of relatives and neighbors come to visit the girl and give presents to her. After this the girl will have to start wearing half saree or sarees which she means she has to protect her body. It is also called Rithumathi celebration in Kerala.
The young woman is dressed almost like a bride, with a silk saree, and much gold jewelry. Some say that this function is the announcement of a marriageable woman, and serves as notice to prospective husbands and their families of a bridal possibility.
Wikepedia describes it as: Tamilians perform an occasion called Manjal Neerattu Vizha, to celebrate their daughter attaining adulthood. They invite their relatives and neighbors for the proceedings and formally announce it. The purpose of the ceremony is to provide awareness to the daughter about the changes that will proceed, and also to make them clear about Do s and Don’t s, they should follow. The girls will be made to wear the traditional dress saree, and they are showered with turmeric water, during the occasion.
Here is a billboard announcing the ceremony. with a picture of the mother and the father and the girl in full traditional saree. Yes, it is a huge billboard!