Indian marriage ritual

This piece folklore was gathered at the San Fransisco trauma recovery center. I met with a group of social workers and over the course of one hour we all got came together in a meeting room and in one big group we decided to go around the table and each discuss folklore from their lives. At the beginning of the discussion I gave a brief description about what folklore could be. After that everyone shared pieces of folklore from their lives.

“I’m planning a wedding so I have a lot of wedding things on my mind and one ritual I participated I not long ago is this ritual where a woman, It’s so patriarchal, its awful. But I tried it out and it was pretty cool and it really brings the family together. So basically the woman fasts all day long from sunrise to sundown all day long. You eat nothing, nothing at all and then at the end of the day the woman get together they eat they celebrate and the whole point of it is for us to pray and ask the gods for a long life for your husband. Sometimes its for your kids to but it’s really for the husband. Its super patriarchal right but the cool thing is that nowadays the husbands fast with the wives as well, so they do it as well. You cannot break the fast until you go and see the moon. You can’t look at the moon directly. You have to look at it through this thing that almost like a cheese cloth. I don’t even know how to explain it. It’s a circle. It’s a metal circle and you can shift through stuff. A sifter I think is what it’s called. You look at the moon through that and you can’t look at your husbands direct face either. You have to look at the moon first. Its bad luck to break your fast before being the moon. You look at the moon first and you look at your husband and then your husband gives you your first sip of water and he thanks you and he feeds you your meal and he washes your feet and all these other things he does for you for praying for him all day long.”

Background information about the performance from the informant: “I heard about this ritual while planning my wedding and this is just one of the rituals. There are a thousand different rituals and superstitions associated with getting married. I was told about his one and I decided to try it out. I remember when I did this I couldn’t find the freaking moon so my partner had to drive me around for three hours looking for the moon. We were living in Santa Cruz and we just had to drive forever looking for the moon.”

Final thoughts: This is the only marriage ritual I collected which is interesting because I think marriage is one of the most folklore heavy rituals there is. This specific one seems to tie marriage to the moon and I would be very interested in seeing if other marriage rituals in other cultures also connect the moon to marriage. It also interesting how marriage helps connect people back to their cultural rituals in a way they are not when they are not in the process of getting married.