Even as the rest of the country grapples with rising cases of Covid-19, a village in Tripura has been busy with the nuptials of two amphibians in the hope of pleasing rain gods. Tribal tea garden workers from western Tripura recently organised a wedding for two frogs in a ceremony traditionally known as “banger biye” (frog wedding). The two frogs tied the knot with aplomb after having taken a dip in the river and having been dressed in fancy wedding clothes.
In a video shot by news agency ANI that has been going viral on social media, the dressed-up frogs can be seen getting married as two women hold them up, fully dressed, for the nuptials. In accordance with Hindu wedding traditions, the toads even exchanged garlands following which the male toad put sindoor (vermillion) on the forehead of the female toad to signify her as his wife.
The unusual sight, however, is not new to India. According to reports, the custom is meant to appease Lord Indra, the god of rain in the Hindu pantheon. By getting the frogs married in the ‘Banger Biye’ ceremony, villagers hope to please the rain god in order to ensure good rainfall which in turn will protect their tea gardens from drought.
In 2019, in a similar incident, two frogs were married in Karnataka’s Udupi in the month of May to ensure good rainfall. In a twist, if fate, however, the frogs were later ‘divorced’ within just two months of the marriage due to excessive rainfall.
In 2018, Bharatiya Janta Party leader Lalita Yadav had organised a wedding for two frogs in Madhya Pradesh as well as part of ‘Ashad Utsav’ to mollify the deities of rain and ensure fertility.