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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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IN BENGAL, THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY BEGINS WITH THE BRIDE
BEING SEATED ON A TABLE-LIKE STRUCTURE WHICH IS THEN
LIFTED AND CIRCLED SEVEN TIMES AROUND THE GROOM.
THE BRIDE'S SARI (DRESS) IS THEN TIED TO THE GROOM
AND THE TWO OF THEM WALK SEVEN STEPS TOGETHER, WHICH
COMPLETES THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY.
IT IS BELIEVED TRADITIONALLY THAT A MAN MUST MARRY A
WOMAN WITH WHOM HE WALKS SEVEN OR MORE STEPS.

Submitter comment: SOURCE: CALCUTTA, INDIA

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; INDIA ; BENGAL ; CALCUTTA

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Ceremony

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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SHAVADRISTI: A MARRIAGE CUSTOM

BOTH BRIDE AND GROOM WEAR VEILS WHICH ARE REMOVED
JUST PRIOR TO THEIR MARRIAGE. SUCH AN UNVEILING IS
CALLED "SHAVADRISTI" OR "BLESSED SIGHT," AND WAS
TRADITIONALLY THE FIRST TIME THAT THE COUPLE HAD EVER
SEEN EACH OTHER.
THERE IS A SEPARATE BLESSING OF BOTH BRIDE AND GROOM
BY THEIR FRIENDS..

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; INDIA ; CALCUTTA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Headdress

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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FESTIVAL OF HOLI

IT IS ALSO CALLED THE FESTIVAL OF COLORS AND IS CELEBRATED
IN THE SPRINGTIME, AND HAS NO PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS
SIGNIFICANCE, BUT IS SIMPLY AN EXPRESSION OF JOY AND
LOVE, AND WELCOMES THE BEAUTIFUL SEASON.
BOTH MEN AND WOMEN SPRINKLE POWDER OF ALL COLORS ON THEIR
FRIENDS, BOTH IN THE STREETS AND IN THE HOMES. (ORIGIN-
ALLY THE POWDER WAS ALWAYS RED--THE INDIAN SYMBOL OF
LOVE). PEOPLE INVITE FRIENDS TO THEIR HOME FOR MEALS AND
VISITING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; INDIA ; CALCUTTA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting F663.9

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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FESTIVAL OF DIWALI

ALSO CALLED FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS, AND IS CELEBRATED IN
NOVEMBER. IT COMMEMORATES A RELIGIOUS MYTH CONCERNING
THE GOD SHIVA AND HIS WIFE, THE GODDESS KALI, WHO THE
PEOPLE WORSHIP IN A SPECIAL WAY AT THIS TIME.
KALI MARRIES SHIVA WHO LIVES IN THE MOUNTAINS CALLED
KAILASH. KALI RETURNS TO VISIT HER FAMILY WHERE
EVERYONE IS MAKING FUN OF HER HUSBAND WHO THEY SAY
LIVES NAKED IN THE MOUNTAINS AND MEDITATES ALL THE
TIME. THEY ASK HER OF WHAT GOOD IS HE AND WHY DID
SHE MARRY HIM.
KALI FINALLY COMMITS SUICIDE AND HER HUSBAND, SHIVA,
ON FINDING HER, PUTS HIS WIFE'S BODY ON HIS SHOULDERS,
AND ENRAGED, HE DANCES THE DANCE OF DESTRUCTION. THE
PEOPLE BEG ANOTHER GOD, VISHNU, TO HELP THEM AND TO PUT
AN END TO ALL OF THE DESTRUCTION. HE TELLS THEM THAT
THEY MUST REMOVE THE WIFE'S BODY FROM SHIVA'S
SHOULDERS.
VISHNU, USING A MAGIC WEAPON, DESTROYS THE WIFE'S BODY
BY CUTTING IT INTO MANY PIECES AND WHERE EACH OF THOSE
PIECES FELL, A TEMPLE WAS BUILT TO MARK THE PLACE
AND TO WORSHIP HER.
UPON THE REMOVAL OF HIS WIFE, THE GOD SHIVA REGAINED
HIS SENSES AND THEN DANCED THE DANCE OF CREATION.
PEOPLE CELEBRATE THE OCCASION BY NUMEROUS AND SPLENDID
FIREWORKS AND LIGHT UP THEIR HOUSES INSIDE AND OUTSIDE
WITH CANDLES. THE WHOLE CITY APPEARS TO BE LIT UP.

Data entry tech comment: OCTOBER-NOVEMBER (KARTIKA)--SPICER, "BOOK OF FESTIVALS,"
KC[ P. 161, KATHY LOESER.
CN[ TYNAN, ANDREA

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; INDIA ; CALCUTTA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- September 23 equinox to December 20 Also used for Advent.

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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FESTIVAL OF DURGA PUJA

THE FESTIVAL IS CELEBRATED IN OCTOBER AND IS BASED ON
AN ANCIENT RELIGIOUS MYTH.
ONCE THERE WAS A DEMON (REPRESENTING EVIL) WHO WAS
CAUSING TERRIBLE DESTRUCTION AND SICKNESS THROUGHOUT
THE WORLD. A GODDESS WITH TEN ARMS APPEARED RIDING
ON THE BACK OF A LION AND KILLED THE DEMON WITH A SPEAR.
MEANING: GOOD OVERCOMES EVIL.
THE PEOPLE OF BENGAL CELEBRATE THE OCCASION BY BUILDING
AN IDOL OF THIS GODDESS IN EACH NEIGHBORHOOD, ABOUT
12 TO 20 FEET HIGH OUT OF CLAY. THEY WORSHIP THE IDOL
BY CARRYING A PLATE CONTAINING CANDLES TO HER (THE
PLATE IS CALLED "ARATI"). AFTER FIVE DAYS OF FESTIVI-
TIES, THE IDOLS ARE TOTED TO A RIVER AND DUMPED IN TO
SYMBOLIZE THAT THE GODDESS HAS RETURNED TO HEAVEN
AFTER KILLING THE DEMON.

Data entry tech comment: SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER (ASVINA). SPICER-"BOOK OF FESTIVALS,"
P. 161, KATHY LOESER.
CN[ TYNAN, ANDREA

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; INDIA ; CALCUTTA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- September 23 equinox to December 20 Also used for Advent.

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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FESTIVAL OF ANNA PRASAN

SIX MONTHS AFTER THE BIRTH OF A BABY, HE IS NOW ALLOWED
TO EAT SOLID FOODS. FRIENDS ARE INVITED TO CELEBRATE
THE HAPPY OCCASION; THEY BRING GIFTS FOR THE BABY.
THREE OBJECTS ARE PLACED BEFORE THE BABY, REPRESENTING
EDUCATION, WEALTH, AND RELIGION. IF THE CHILD
FIRST GRASPS A PEN, HE WILL BE A SCHOLAR, IF HE
GRASPS THE COIN, HE WILL ACQUIRE GREAT WEALTH,
AND IF HE GRASPS THE RELIGIOUS SYMBOL, HE WILL
EMBRACE THE CLERGY.

Submitter comment: FROM CALCUTTA, INDIA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; INDIA ; CALCUTTA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Use of object for determining future of young

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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showing 6 items

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