Sunday, July 26, 2009

Superstition: Minor girls married off to frogs

In Jan 2009, two minor girls were married off to frogs. This happened in a village in villupuram district of Tamil Nadu, India. The ceremony, an annual feature during the Pongal festival was conducted ‘to prevent the outbreak of mysterious diseases in the village.

  • The girls dressed up in traditional bridal sarees and gold jewelry, married the frogs in separate ceremonies at two different temples in presence of villagers.
  • The frogs were tied to long sticks decorated with garlands for the marriage ceremonies.
  • The temple priests garlanded the brides and tied the magalsutras on behalf of the frogs saying the two as wives of the amphibians before the sacred fire at the auspicious hour.
    (The groom ties the Mangalsutra, a sacred thread of love and goodwill, around the neck of the bride on the day of the marriage, signifying their union. Mangalsutra is also called Thali / Thaali.)
  • Villagers of the western part of the village acted as relatives of the brides. Eastern part villagers acted as relatives of the grooms.
  • The ceremonies had all the usual elements of a traditional marriage including a sumptuous feast.
  • Finally, after the ceremony, the frogs were thrown back into the temple ponds.

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