The wedding rituals formally begin with prayers offered to ancestors to seek their and God's blessings for the upcoming wedding. This usually takes place in the early morning hours of the day before the wedding day. For the groom, this signifies the end of the "Brahmacharya" (Bachelorhood) stage in his life and seeking permission from his guru (groom's father in this case who initiates him to Brahmachari life at the Upanayanam) to enter "Gruhastha" stage (Domestic, Married life). A sacred yellow thread is tied on the wrists of the bride and the groom. The bride and the groom are not allowed to leave the premises of the location where the wedding will take place once this thread is tied and this thread is believed to ward off all evil spirits and protect the couple to be.
This is followed by the 'palika' ceremony. In the olden days, the families of the groom and the bride would actually plant a row of trees "pali" from which this function was called "Palikaranai" is derived. The act was symbolic of showering the couple to be with best wishes for a bountiful and happy married life. In modern days, this consists of sowing germinated seeds of nine kinds of pre-soaked cereals in 5 mud pots (layered with green grass and bilva leaves) by married women (Sumangalis) relatives of the groom and the bride. At the end of the function, an 'aarthi' ceremony is performed.