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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 June, 2003, 21:02 GMT 22:02 UK
Donkey wedding staged to bring rain
Donkey marriage in Bangalore
The four-legged pair enjoyed the special attention
Residents of India's southern city of Bangalore have married off two donkeys, in the hope that the ancient ritual will usher in good monsoon rains.

Though monsoons have hit southern India, Bangalore is still waiting for its first showers and residents decided to invoke the ritual - detailed in Hindu scriptures - after their prayers failed to deliver.

Two donkeys - the bride Ganga and the groom Varuna - tied the knot at a temple on the city outskirts to loud cheers of about 100 guests, who attended the ceremony.

Rains are crucial in India, as the majority of the country's population of over 1 billion depends on agriculture and farming.

The happy couple - who wagged their tails, oblivious to the commotion - were married off in a traditional Hindu ceremony, with the bride clad in a green silk sari with gold zari.

'Praying for rain'

Great attention was also paid to ritualistic details such as the perfect invitation card, the right wedding attire and the freshest flowers.

A traditional band plays at the wedding
Sunshine is forecast for the next five days

A traditional band entertained the guests, who sprinkled the newlyweds with flowers.

"We are praying for rains. We need rains, hope gods are pleased and it rains in Bangalore today," Manjual, one of the guests, told Reuters news agency.

Only at one point did the groom get restless: when his attendant tied the holy threads around his hind and fore legs.

The guests, each of whom contributed to the marriage expenses, were later treated to a traditional meal at the temple.

Before leaving the ceremony, everybody was hopeful it would start raining soon.

Meanwhile, the BBC's weather forecast suggested unbroken sunshine in Bangalore until Sunday at the earliest.

Monsoons ease India heat
09 Jun 03  |  South Asia


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