In Jahangeerabad, groom waits while bride come riding on white mare

In Jahangeerabad, groom waits while bride come riding on white mare


In Jahangeerabad village of Rae Bareli district, some 80 km from state capital Lucknow, it's the bride and not the groom who sits on a decorated white mare and heads towards the wedding venue.
"It's a unique custom that is being practised by the villagers, irrespective of the castes," Shiv Kumar, a Jahangeerabad resident who recently performed the wedding of his daughter Manju as per the age-old custom, told IANS.
"With a sparkling turban (pagri) on her head, my 21-year-old daughter Manju last week sat on a white mare in her bridal attire and proceeded to the groom's place in nearby village Umrai," said Kumar, 58, a farmer who has been living in Jahangeerabad for several years.
Like Manju, other brides of the village have been performing the unique ritual for ages. No one in the village knows when it actually started.
However, locals believe that if the tradition is not followed, the marriage of their girls will not last long or can create chronic health disorders for the couple.
"There have been occasions in which the village girls did not follow the tradition. In all such cases, either the marriages did not last for long due to some marital problem, or the couples got afflicted with serious health disorders soon after their wedding," said Bindai, a septuagenarian resident.
In order to adhere to the tradition, locals have had to persuade the groom and his family on several occasions.
"Normally there is no problem when the girl's marriage is fixed with a boy residing in Jahangeerabad village or its nearby villages as the people are aware of the tradition," said Nimbar, a farmer in the village.
However, when the marriage is fixed in a distant village, where the locals are not aware of the tradition, the girl's family faces a tough time convincing the boy and his parents to perform the wedding as per the tradition, he added.
As a part of the custom, after the bride sits on the mare she has to pray in different temples in the village, before leaving for the groom's place.
"During the process, prayers are specially offered to Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati," said Pooran, another resident.
Most of the over 3,500 residents of the village are farmers.

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