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Writers International Edition

karnataka

Ghost Marriage

‘Ghost Marriage’: Two people ties knot in Karnataka after 30 years of their death

Do you believe in life after death? Do you think that marriage between two people after death brings their soul happiness?

Marriage is a legally and socially sanctioned union, usually between a man and a woman, that is regulated by laws, rules, customs, beliefs, and attitudes that prescribe the rights and duties of the partners.
It is strange for common people to hear about the marriage of two people after their death and this comes to reality in Karnataka, between Sobha and Chandappa who died thirty years ago. In the physical absence of the couple, relatives performed the celebratory ceremony which is called ‘pretha kalyanam’ (the ghost marriage).

In traditional Chinese culture, it is shameful to be the parents of an unwed daughter, and unmarried girls are often shunned from society.  In addition, ghost marriage for men lets the family’s lineage carry on. The spouse of a deceased male could adopt a child who would carry on the lineage of the man’s family. Other reasons for performing ghost marriages for deceased males are dreams from the spirits of the males who want to be married.

All the rituals seen in a real wedding can be seen in a ghost wedding where the groom’s parents will hand over the bridal dress to the bride’s family and are performed by respective families. There will be video, camera and refreshments and wedding processions too.

Ghost marriage is performed for those who died soon after birth and are considered a way of honoring the spirits of the dead, believing that the souls will be happy.