FW: Vivaha Panchami (Nov 29)

Jo jkirk at SPRO.NET
Tue Nov 29 04:26:52 UTC 2011

Recently, the list was discussing the Ramayana and the OUP issue. The
marriage of Rama and Sita is a big celebration in Nepal, with images in
procession and a wedding ritual. I wonder which Ramayana they read in this


Who might be the swami to the left, robed in orange, in the poster? 

(This message is from a friend who lives in Kathmandu. The choreography
description reminds me of the wedding of Minakshi festival in Madurai.)


Best wishes,

Joanna K.



Today, on the 5th day after the waxing moon of Mangshir (Nov 29)  the
marriage of Sita to Ram, is  celebrated, particularly in Janakpur, Sita's
birthplace, and the ancient capital of her father, the wise king Janaka. 



Each year in Janakpur, images of Rama and Sita are brought out in colorful
processions and their Hindu wedding ceremony is re-enacted. This takes place
during an exciting week-long mela (religious fair). Thousands of pilgrims
come from India.  Cultural, agrarian and commercial exhibitions are held.
Hundreds of booths and bazaar shops sell all sorts of wares to thousands of
pilgrims.  Dust, flies, loudspeakers blare-- and the roar of the crowd can
be heard for miles around.  

Pilgrims who have walked for miles dry their laundry as they travel,
stretching yards of colorful saris between them as they walk on the
sun-baked roads, carrying bundles of provisions and cooking gear on their



On the first day, a great procession starts from Rama's temple.  His image,
dressed as a bridegroom is seated on a lavishly decorated khat on the back
of a caparisoned elephant.  A gold-tipped umbrella is twirled over his head,
musicians play, and the festive crowd swarms along the route to the Janaki
Temple of Sita, which is only a short distance away.  The next day, the
image of Sita is taken out from her temple and carried with great fanfare to
Rama's side in a re-enactment of the Hindu marriage ceremonies, including
rituals before the sacred fire.



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