75 girls participate in collective Bel Bibaha

Chitwan, February 24:

A total of 75 young Newar girls from different places including Kathmandu, Janakpur, Makwanpur, Gorkha, Parsa, Lamjung, Tanahun and Chitwan gathered at Jaycees building at Narayani Riverbank of Chitwan for a group Bel Bibaha or Ihi today.

The young girls were all dolled up in their best outfits suited for wedding, jewellery and make up to participate in the marriage with bel.

The parents and relatives of these young girls were helping them carry on the processions and puja.

Naari Avyudaya Kendra has regularly been conducting the collective Bel Bibaha in Chitwan since 1991.

Chairperson of the Kendra, Mana Kumari Sen said because it is more costly to organise Bel Bibaha at home, parents opt for conducting the Bel Bibaha ceremony in groups as this one.

The Kendra charges Rs 3,500 per girl for Panchakanya and Rs 600 per girl for normal puja.

One Chandan Sharma Rajopadhyay of Kathmandu, who had brought his daughter for the ceremony, said it costs around Rs 10,000 to conduct the ceremony at home.In Newari tradition, each girl is married to a god named Suwarna Kumar before her menstruation starts, Rajopadhyay said.

He added that it is also mentioned in religious scriptures that Newar girls become eligible for marriage only after undergoing this marriage with Bel.

“The Naari Avyudaya Kendra is doing a good job by conducting the ceremony institutionally.”

Bel Bibaha is conducted for two days and is carried out by Newar priests.