Villagers perform marriage between 2 trees to ‘invite rain’

Raiganj: Popular belief has it that when there is a prolonged dry spell, marriage between Banyan and Peepal trees invite rain. The district of North Dinajpur has been reeling under a dry spell since long due to which residents are facing acute water scarcity. Ponds have dried up. Crops and vegetables are drying in the field in absence of water.

Under these circumstances, the residents of Tulsipara Colony of Rupahar in Raiganj performed the marriage of a Banyan tree with Peepul (pakur) tree in the village on Wednesday night.

More than 1,500 villagers assembled to be a witness to this unique marriage ceremony. Stepping out from popular belief, the organisers conveyed the message that trees and plants are required to ensure adequate rainfall.

After collecting contributions from locals, the organisers erected a pandal for the wedding ceremony complete with decorative lighting. Invitation cards were also given to the guests. The priest conducted the marriage following Vedic rituals, as per the Hindu religion. Dinesh Roy, the father of the bride (Banyan tree), said: “We provided everything necessary to solemnise the marriage, including vermilion, saree Sakha and Pola (bangles that are signs of the married).” The wedding spread consisted of fried rice, dal, curry, cottage cheese curry, chatni, curd and sweets. Rajkumar Halder, the father of groom (Peepal tree), said: “Through the marriage of the trees we want to spread a message that trees play a vital role to keep the balance in nature. Owing to indiscriminate felling of trees, rainfall has reduced and it is becoming hotter day by day. We should plant trees everywhere to get rid of such dry spells in future. The people who attended assured us to plant trees in their houses.”

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