Rites and rituals to invoke rains in Uttar Pradesh

June 25th, 2009 - 1:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, June 25 (IANS) As Uttar Pradesh sweats under the blistering heat and there is no sign of the monsoon, villagers are resorting to invocations, rites and ritual to appease the rain god.
In Allahabad district’s Kharkahuni village, the women folk have undertaken the ‘ploughing ritual’ to bring in the rains. “In groups we perform the ritual. It all starts with songs that are dedicated to Indra Dev (the rain god). Once the songs are over, we carry the plough on our back and move along the fields,” Ramadae, a woman in the village, told IANS.

Ramadae, a septuagenarian recalls that the same ploughing ritual was performed decades ago by women folk in a different manner. “While more or less the ceremonies associated with the ritual are the same, earlier women used to plough fields during the midnight hours and that too without clothes,” she said.

However, as time passed, women altered the traditional ceremony and started performing it wearing clothes, she added.

In Varanasi, where the mercury has already breached the 40 degrees Celsius mark, villagers performed the wedding of frogs to usher in the delayed monsoon.

“The wedding of frogs at the Dasaswamedh Ghat took place Wednesday as per Hindu customs,” said Dev Raj Sharma, the priest who solemnised the marriage.

There is a traditional belief that if frogs are married according to Hindu rituals, the rain god gets pleased and rainfall takes place within days, he added.

Likewise, in the village of Manpur in Sitapur district, children have been entrusted with the task of appeasing the rain god.

Elder villagers make children roll over on the ground. During the process, a group of villagers, mainly women, are asked to sprinkle water on the children.

“In this village, the practice is being followed for the last several years. We believe the rolling act of children pleases Indra Dev, who will then bless us with showers,” said Jugari Lal, a village farmer.

According to officials, the monsoon currents are moving slowly towards Uttar Pradesh. Taking this into account, the met office had earlier announced that the monsoon would arrive by June 26, but now they say it will be delayed till at least June 30.

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