Page last updated at 03:22 GMT, Sunday, 16 May 2010 04:22 UK

Indian Hindus wed as drought on auspicious days ends

By Zubair Ahmed
BBC News, Mumbai

Dancers at an Indian wedding
Dancers at a wedding - some nuptial services are in short supply

Sunday will witness a huge rush for weddings in India as a six-month drought of dates considered auspicious comes to an end.

Indian Hindus believe 16 May is one of the four most auspicious dates in their calendar.

Professional wedding planners claim that around 50,000 weddings are taking place in Mumbai and half that in Delhi.

However the mass weddings are causing shortages of priests, caterers and wedding halls.


According to the Hindu calendar, Sunday is the Akshaya Tritiya day, the first of the four most auspicious days to start new ventures, including entering into wedlock.

Astrologer Premila Devi says Akshaya Tritiya is a day that "brings eternal good fortune".

"It's the most auspicious time to start any good venture, like business, marriages or moving into new houses."

It is certainly bringing fortune to the caterers, jewellers and wedding planners.

But while cash registers are ringing the traditionally lavish Indian weddings are also creating shortages of marriage venues, flowers and Hindu priests.

There are reports of affluent Indians hiring farmhouses for wedding ceremonies.

Akshaya Tritiya ends a nearly six-month drought during which it was regarded as inauspicious to undertake a new enterprise.

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