Frog weddings- you will be fascinated when you attend one

23Nov - by swayamt - 16 - In Indian culture Travel
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Frog weddings claim several victims in India every year.

This year, Geeta, a 25-year young girl from a village 170 kilometers from Chennai, will be marrying a frog against her wishes.

She doesn’t have a chance to escape this union because her father has been threatened.

Of course, she can run away but that will make her parents outcastes in her village.

Which means that there will be no communication between the unfortunate parents and the village society. This is a  scenario that nobody wants, not even Geeta.

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Garlands exchanged, the frogs are now husband and wife. Creds- NDTV

Frog weddings- queer but acceptable

I had first seen a frog marriage when I was very young. I was perhaps 10 years old and was excited to watch the drama unfold before me in a Rajasthan village.

I can still remember that a frog sat coquettishly on a small palm-shaped leaf, its lips smeared with red lipstick, while the bride sat opposite it. Her face was covered with a ghoonghut or a veil.

The bride was a human- she was a girl.

She was wearing very attractive clothes and had nice jewelry on her body. Probably she was crying during the marriage because I could see that her friends were consoling her.

Mr. Frog was perhaps enjoying the spectacle and the attention that he was getting. If it was thinking something, then it gave little away.

The panditji or the priest was uttering some mantras or hymns. After a few minutes, the bride and her ‘groom’ stood up and took seven rounds of the sacred fire. It was understood now by all those present that the frog and the girl were now husband and wife for the next seven cycles of birth and death.

If you thought that this ‘wedding’ was attended by a handful of people, then you are mistaken.

I can still remember that there were at least 100 people in the marriage party and everyone enjoyed as if the wedding was his personal affair.

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Yes, everyone sang and danced in that frog wedding party

Making gods happy

Let us now come back to our friend Geeta.

She is a college graduate and wants to become an important government official.

For the past few years, she is preparing for an exam that would help her achieve her aim. Her parents support Geeta but have limited means to fund her education. Geeta’s father is a retired postman and his government pension cannot support his family’s monthly expenses.

Frog wedding
Often, frogs wed each other. Image creds- Indiatimes. com

At times, he has to take loans from his neighbors who do not charge any interest from him.

Most of the people in this Tamil Nadu village are farmers and depend upon rains for their crop earnings.

YUnfortunately, for the past two years, rain gods have not visited this village and this is a cause of worry for its residents. They have tried every tactic in their book to make the gods happy, but have failed so far.

One day, the village priest told the villagers that frog weddings can help all of them in this crisis.

After a little bit of discussion and debate, all the villagers agreed to this idea. But there was just one problem- who will be the bride?

The reluctant bride

Panditji again came to the rescue of the villagers. The bride should have been born in August, be fair in appearance and must be approximately 25 years of age- he prescribed.

After a little bit of research, the villagers found out that Geeta fit the bill perfectly. But did, she like the idea?

No way. She simply laughed at that idea and said it was plain silly.

The villagers, however, had other ideas. Led by the headman, they told her father that this frog wedding was a must for the welfare of the village.

You can also read this article about an Indian holy woman who breastfed gods by becoming naked

‘Else, risk a boycott by us….,’ the headman threatened.

Geeta’s father had no option but to obey the headman’s orders.

It is not necessary that frogs only marry girls. In many cases, such marriages take place between frogs. But in Geeta’s case, it was necessary that the bride be a girl of marriageable age. 

Frog weddings- Shrouded in time

Panditji is partially right. Nobody knows when frog weddings started in India.

However, we do know that Lord Vishnu, one of the three Gods of the Holy Trinity, had once taken the form of an amphibian. Hindus believe that this avatar was necessary to save mankind from drought and floods. This was several millions of years ago.

Is that the reason why frog weddings are so important in certain parts of the country?

For example in Assam, frog marriages are organized with much pomp and show. Like in traditional marriages, the ‘bridegroom’ frog leads band party and its guests.

Frog weddings in Assam are called ‘Bhekulia Biya’.

Read this article of a frog marriage in the North Eastern Indian state of Assam.

Similar frog marriages are held in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and a few other parts of the world. Brides are identified for frog ‘grooms’ according to some yardsticks and they are later wed to the selected amphibians.

Almost all these marriages are held to please the rain gods so that the farmers get a good crop. India still depends on farming to a large extent.

What happens to the frog later?

Nothing,

After the marriage is over, it is sent back to the well or the pond from where it was collected. It goes back to its original home, intact.

And the bride?

Also nothing. After this sham wedding, the village allows her to go back to her home and lead her normal life.

But I am sure that this sham wedding would leave a deep scar on Geeta’s psyche. Her friends and other who know her would always call as Mrs. Frog and this is not good for the girl’s health.

What do you say, my friends?

Do you want to read more amazing Indian stories? Click here.

 

16 thoughts on “Frog weddings- you will be fascinated when you attend one”

  1. What an amazing story. And you write it so well, it’s so compelling. Can Geeta get married to real person after this? Can she divorce the frog? Or does she have to wait until it dies to remarry? I have so many queations!

  2. I have never, ever heard of this tradition before – very interesting read. I’m glad the frog is returned to its natural habitat and that the girls don’t have to stay married to an amphibian!

  3. hi
    interesting article , i was wondering what happened to the bride later but then u answered . Never had heard about this but will do a bit more research on this . But i guess this practice will be on the decline

    rgds

  4. That’s one of the reasons the tradition of India never ceases to amuse me. You knoe there is tradition to marry girls to a tree or to lord vishnu and boys to a cow as well to tackle inauspicious presence in their horoscopes. But yes, have got to admit that frog wedding seems to be most amusing of all so far

  5. never heard about this tradition before. Interesting and sad to read, I think it is important to bring attention to such issues.

  6. Sad but true that these things still prevail in this day and age. I have heard of these weddings but seeing it through these pictures is something else. You have captured the entire bit very well in this post. I do hope that with increasing media and awareness, these sham weddings stop

  7. I once heard about frog weddings but your qrticle shed more light in it. You are right when you said that it will leave a mark or a scar on the girl’s memiry not good thing she lives a nirmal life after the wedding.

  8. First time I read about this tradition. Yet it may be interesting, I think it is somehow a waste of ressources – I mean, yeah, it is a sham wedding. As for the bride: Really? Even friends tend to call her “Mrs. Frog” (assuming her friends are also similar educated as her, thinking this is “just an old tradition”)? Time to find some new friends.

  9. That’s really sad but of course we know such traditions prevail. I can only imagine the horror that girl Geeta must have gone through. Hope she is not teased because of all this. I hope such sham weddings and traditions stop soon!

  10. This is such a disturbing fact that people follow such superstitious rituals even at this day. The only saving grace about this so called wedding is that the girls will not suffer any

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