Indian villagers perform frog wedding to combat rain shortage
A severe rain shortage prompted villagers in the Indian state of West Bengal to fall back on an old tradition -- the frog wedding. The villagers pooled their money to pay for the wedding of two frogs named Ram and Sita, named for the two primary characters in the Sanskrit epic the Ramayana. From Reuters:
Following an ancient Hindu belief, the frogs' heads were smeared with vermilion paint and the pair were held up in the air in a ritual in front of a traditional clay candle.
"We feted about 3,000 villagers and solemnized the marriage with every single ritual," Shobin Ray, head of a local council in Madhya Baragari village, about 750 km [470 miles] north of state capital Kolkata, told Reuters by phone.
As part of the ceremony, the nearby river was invited to join the celebration and asked for its blessing of the marriage, according to local custom.
India's monsoon season typically begins in early June, but the rains have been slow in coming to much of the country, leaving many residents who make their livings from agriculture struggling.
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo: Villagers solemnize a frog marriage as they pray for rain in the village of Gazole in West Bengal state, India. Credit: Associated Press