CHITTOOR: As per an ancient ritual after Sankranti, a sheep and ram were married off in Kuravapalle village, Gyrampalle panchayat at KCPalle mandal in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, on Sunday night.
As per this Sankranti tradition, the marriage of the two animals are conducted two days after Sankranti ends which is a customary ritual since ages. The animals are beautifully decorated like a bride and groom. At first special pujas are performed for Doddi Gangamma. Followed by lighting of special lamps and the Goddess Gouramma is worshiped. After invoking the Gods the ram and sheep are then married with an intent of seeking the prosperity of the village and its people.
The villagers believe that by doing so, Goddess Gouramma will protect their crops and fields from pests and the livestock against any attack of infectious diseases.
Two families stand by the animals as elders and this year Kiran Kumar's family stood by the groom and Damodar's family stood by the bride and performed the wedding ceremony ina grand way. A large number of villagers also participated in this unique tradition.
From time immemorial, it has been customary to marry sheep and goats. It is customary to worship Gouramma for the good of the village and to save the livestock said Kamballa Reddeppa, a villager from Goudu in Kuravapalle.
We consider it holy to continue the tradition that has been going on since the time of the elders. The marriage of sheep with goats is a big festival in our village. With the grace of the goddess, we perform this ritual in a traditional manner every year said Chamanchula Sriramulu from Pinapedda village.
The customs followed in the villages of India, on Makar Sankranti, have a unique charm of their own. Varied festivities including singing and dancing mark the celebrations of the harvest festival. Courtyards and swept and sprinkled with a mixture of water and cow dung, while the homes are scrub-cleaned for the festival.
People put Rangoli or Kolam in their courtyards. For the farmers and villagers it is considered very importnat as the they extend their gratitude to Mother Nature for a good crop. Livestock like bulls and cows are also scrubbed clean and decorated and prayed to on Sankranti days.
In such cases, the farmers also appease gods to protect the animals and crops during Sankranti time.