GUWAHATI: Frogs are food for people in some parts of the Northeast. In some others, they are envoys to the rain gods.
Till last month, Assam was reeling under devastating floods. Today, a severe drought-like situation prevails in the state, forcing many to fall back on the custom of arranging frog-weddings to appease the rain gods.
Some 300 locals of the Rongdoi village in Jorhat district witnessed the bizarre wedding of frogs on Saturday. The marriage was solemnized by a priest Lalit Bora, who followed the Vedic rites and other marriage rituals. After the wedding was over, the revelers partook in a grand feast.
There is a mythological belief among the Assamese that if wild frogs are married off by following the Hindu rituals of marriage, it can help bring rainfall.
Manoj Kumar Neog of Rongdoi village, who witnessed the frog wedding, told Express that crops in his village, as well as several other neighbouring villages, had been destroyed due to drought.
“People strongly believe that frog weddings cause rainfall. After the wedding in our village, dark clouds had enveloped our area, making us to believe that it will rain heavily. Eventually, it rained though it didn’t last for long,” he said.
Narrating the rituals of frog-wedding, Neog said about half a dozen wild frogs would be caught from the jungle, usually on the day of wedding. Then, some village elders, who are experienced enough, would identify the male and the female.
“Following identification, the bride and the groom will be kept in two different houses of the village and dressed up gorgeously prior to the wedding. The wedding takes place at the house where the bride has been kept. A lot of people will accompany the groom when it is taken to bride’s place,” Neog said.
“Some people will announce the time and place of wedding in village thoroughfares with sound system. People, both young and old and from different strata of the society, will come and witness the wedding. They will take part in a bhoj (feast) for which every villager needs to contribute with cash or kind. The fun and joy here is more than what we witness in the weddings of human beings,” he said.
After the wedding gets over, the bride is taken to the groom’s house in a decorated hand cart and later, both are let loose in a pond, he signed off.