Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Coconuts smashed on Devotees' heads

On 04 August 2009, at the Mahalakshmi temple of Mettu Mahadanapuram near Krishnarayapuram, Karur district, Tamilnadu, India, a traditional annual ritual of breaking coconuts on the heads of devotees in fulfillment of a vow and in a plea to the gods for health and success was performed. This was the main part of the second day function of ‘Aadipperukku’. Thousands of people from many parts of Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andra Pradesh participated. They crowded around devotees and a priest smashed a coconut each on every registered devotee’s head. As the coconuts broke into pieces, some devotees rubbed their heads and others collected the broken pieces of coconuts as a holy offering.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Marriage of donkeys

On Sunday, July 16, 2006, a group of villagers presided over the marriage of two donkeys.

The wedding took place in the Sri Thirumoola Natha Swamy temple at Poovalur village near Lalgudi of Tamil Nadu, India, in a bid to promote world peace and prosperity. The ceremony was attended by about 3,000 villagers.

The ‘bridegroom’ was wearing a traditional silk dhoti and the ‘bride’ was wearing a silk sari. Both were wearing garlands. The nuptial knot was tied on behalf of the groom around the bride’s neck. The Priests were chanting verses from religious texts.

The donkey ‘couple’ was taken in procession through the village. A feast was also organized, in which more than 1,000 people took part.

Finally, both the donkeys were donated to the temple.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Superstition: Frog marriages.

In India:

  • In the month of Jun 2009, villagers in Chipoha village of Assam, India, married off frogs in a unique custom to please the Rain God, asking for an early monsoon.
  • It's a traditional belief that when a frog marriage is performed, Rain God is pleased and it rains.
  • Residents of the entire Chipoha village turned out to witness the unconventional marriage ceremony of the two frogs.
  • The frogs caught by the villagers were decked up with fine clothes.
  • The female frog was gifted a necklace by the village women.
  • The marriage was conducted by a priest according to traditional Hindu rituals.
  • The residents believed that the marriage would bring plenty of rainfall to their village.
  • The marriage was a desperate measure by the villagers to get rainfall in the parched region.

  • In the same month (Jun 2009), a number of farmers seeking rainfall in a suburb of Nagpur city, Maharashtra of India, organized wedding of two frogs, picked up from different ponds on Saturday to please the Rain Gods and hoped their region would soon receive monsoon showers.
  • Tradition dictates that if frogs are married off with full Vedic or Hindu rituals, the Rain God is pleased and the heavens will open within days.
  • People blew trumpets and sang songs, as the priest solemnized the marriage to the chanting of Hindu hymns by putting streaks of vermilion on the female toad's head.

In Bangladesh:

  • Earlier, in the month of Mar 2009, people from two neighboring villages in Bangladesh conducted a marriage ceremony between two frogs as part of a custom believed to bring rain to the region.
  • The two frogs came from two neighboring villages in northern Bangladesh, about 110 kilometers from Dhaka.
  • Villagers organized the ceremony after both villages suffered severe water shortages because of lack of rain.
  • More than 250 men, women and children attended the wedding, danced and sang.
  • The “frog marriage” ceremony was conducted like a typical marriage ceremony and the guests were served a traditional wedding fare containing rice, fish, beef, lentils and sweets.
  • The bride and the groom were in special wedding dress. They were blessed and finally released in a nearby pond.
  • The ceremony worked and it was raining the next day.