“In a bizarre ritual, two minor girls, both seven, from the remote Pallipudupet village in Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram district were married
off to frogs on Friday night. The ceremony, an annual feature during the Pongal (harvest) festival, is conducted "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.