Two young girls married to frogs to prevent epidemic
The Times of India reports that two minor girls, both seven, have been wed to frogs in Tamil Nadu‘s Villupuram district, “to prevent the outbreak of mysterious diseases in the village”.
The girls, Vigneswari and Masiakanni, dressed up in traditional bridal finery — gilded sarees and gold jewellery — married the frog ‘princes’ in separate, elaborate ceremonies at two different temples in the presence of hundreds of villagers.
Amidst chanting of vedic hymns, the temple priests garlanded the brides and tied the magalsutras on behalf of the frogs pronouncing the two as wives of the amphibians before the sacred fire at the auspicious hour.
The villagers threw themselves into the ceremonies with gusto. While residents living in the western part of the village acted as relatives of the brides and those from the eastern part play-acted as relatives of the grooms. The ceremonies had all the usual elements of a traditional marriage including a sumptuous feast.
However, unlike the fairy tale `Frog Prince‘, where the ugly toad turns into a handsome prince when the princess kisses it, the Villupuram village belles bid their amphibian grooms goodbye and lead a normal life thereafter. As for the terrified frogs, they are thrown back into the temple ponds after the ceremony.