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Bel Bibaha

In the Newar community, there is a unique tradition of marrying their girl child to the bel fruit. One must be familiar with the term bel bibaha. The marriage between a virgin Newari girl and bel fruit is held before the girl attains puberty. This ensures that the girl acquires active and healthy reproductive powers.

Here the bel fruit is the bridegroom, representative of the eternal bachelor (Lord Kumar, son of Lord Shiva ). In this marriage ceremony, known as Ihi in Newari, the bel fruit must look rich and ripe and must not be damaged in any kind. If by chance the fruit turns out to be a damaged one, it is believed that the girl or the bride will be destined to

spend the rest of her life with an ugly looking unfaithful husband after her real marriage. However the most significant aspect of the ‘Bel Marriage’ is that once married to Lord Kumar, the woman will remain pure and chaste and even if her husband dies after the marriage she would not be considered a widow, the case in point being that she is already married to the Lord.
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