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Bel Bibaha Ehee Nepal Nepali

What is Bel bibaha 'Ehee' ceremony?

Bel bibaha 'Ehee' ceremony is a Newar ceremony in Nepal in which pre-adolescent girls are "married" to the Suvarna Kumar, a symbol of Vishnu. This is done to ensure fertility and avoid widowhood later in life. The girl's parents also pray for her future happiness and health.

The Bel Bibaha is followed by another ritual known as 'Bahra,' where girls are married to the 'Sun God.' The custom is carried out before a girl reaches puberty or her first menstrual cycle.

How is Bel Bibaha performed?

For hundreds of years, this ceremony has been performed. It is a holy and true Kanya Daan-like ceremony in which a girl is handed over to god. In reality, Ihi girls are married to Lord Vishnu's golden statue, Suvarna Kumar, who receives Bel fruit (wood apple), which is kept as proof of the wedding.

Because Bel fruit (wood apple) has a distinctive quality of never rotting and remaining fresh indefinitely, it is sometimes regarded as Divya Purusha or the god's incarnation.

A priest officiates the ceremony, and the girl's parents offer prayers for her future happiness and health. The girl is dressed in bridal attire. A feast is held afterward to celebrate the occasion.

All the Hindu marriage ceremonies are done in the ceremony. As a result, the same rituals do not need to be completed again when the girls marry a guy later in life.

That's why Newars do not require a groom to go in a wedding procession [janti (nep.), Baraat (Hindi)] In this community, the family and friends bring the bride to the groom's house with a few rituals. However, today's newar grooms participate in their wedding processions, and the weddings are a bit lengthy and lavish.

Despite its modernity, some Newar families continue to adhere to their ancient customs and conduct the Bel bibaha ceremony for their daughters. Some people think that if a girl has not undergone the Bel Bibaha, her first menstrual cycle will be irregular.

The second wedding, the Bahra ceremony or Sun marriage, takes place before a girl's first menses, accompanied by seclusion in a dark room for twelve days.

During this time, the secluded girl cannot come in contact with any males, not even her father.

The purpose of this seclusion is to make the girl clean and pure for her second wedding. After 12 days, she comes out of her seclusion, and the Bahra ceremony is conducted. In this ceremony, the girl is married to the Sun god, and a priest officiates the ceremony.

A feast is held afterward to celebrate the occasion, and the girl's parents pray for her future happiness and health.

The Bel bibaha and Bahra ceremonies are important in the Newar community as they mark a girl's transition into womanhood. These ceremonies are a way to ensure fertility and happy married life for the girls.

FAQs

Which caste is Bel Bibaha common in?

The Newar community in Nepal practices this ceremony.

Why is Bel Bibaha done?

According to Newari belief, a woman who has lost her spouse does not become a widow until later in life since she is still married to the gods Vishnu and Sun. This was done to avoid the practice of 'Sati Pratha,' in which a wife sacrifices herself in the burning fire after her husband's death.

When is Bel Bibaha performed?

The custom is carried out before a girl reaches puberty or her first menstrual cycle.

Written by

Shubhechchha Maharjan
Shubhechchha is a cultural enthusiast who loves exploring and understanding Nepalese rituals. She shares her knowledge and insights through her blog at Lalmon to help others appreciate these traditions.

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