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‘Marriage of the Dead’ in India’s Dakshina Kannada

Twitter user shares baffling account of attending wedding where the bride and groom are dead
Published 29 Jul, 2022 02:07pm
<p>Photo: Screengrab / Twitter <a rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" class="link--external" href="https://twitter.com/anny_arun">@anny_arun</a>, art Web Desk</p>

Photo: Screengrab / Twitter @anny_arun, art Web Desk

Dakshina Kannada, which is a district of the Karnataka state in India is known to be rich in tradition. There is one shocking tradition that most do not know about, in which two children who died while being born are married off to each other. Yes, you read that right.

This may seem absurd, but the people of Dakshina Kannada take this tradition quite seriously. All the marriage festivities happen just as if it was a normal wedding, except that the bride and groom are dead, a Twitter who goes by the handle @anny_arun shared.

The wedding he attended was taking place 30 years after the children passed away.

It begins with the families meeting each other for an engagement ceremony. You would think that it would be easy to find matches for dead people, but this is absolutely not the case. It is common for families to be picky about who their deceased child is marrying. There are instances where the groom’s family has rejected a bride because she was a few years older than the groom at the time of her death.

Another important part of all weddings is the clothing, and that is also the case for these weddings. The groom “brings” the Dhare Saari (the bridal sari) which is then worn by the bride. She is also given time to get dressed.

Once she is “dressed,” they do the Saptapadhi, which is a Hindu marriage rite where the newlywed couple performs seven revolutions around a fire, after which they become husband and wife.

No marriage custom is skipped in this tradition, after the bride is given the Mangalasutra (a chain that signifies that a woman is married), the family members come and give their blessings to the couple. There are even tearful goodbyes when the bride goes to the groom’s house.

Although both the bride and groom are dead, the families treat this occasion with joy and happiness, and it is their way of taking care of their children even after they have passed.

“And the couple ‘lives’ happily ever after! Probably in the afterlife!”




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