This year Devotthan Ekadasi falls on Nov. 17. This day is also the beginning of the wedding propitious season. So wedding after wedding will take place throughout northern India, bringing smiles to the faces of businessmen everywhere.
In Kosi, estimates are that at least 100 couples will tie the knot on that day. All marriage homes and gardens are booked, and orders for sweets, bands, horses, lights, tents and everything else that is needed for the modern wedding.
Devotthan is the beginning of the season for auspicious rituals of this sort. The markets are decked out to attract customers and create a festive atmosphere. And though gold and silver are at record high prices, crowds are flocking to the jewelry shops and people seem willing to pay whatever is necessary to get bangles, earrings and necklaces for the new brides. Besides this, clothing and sari shops are doing great business.
Kosi has half a dozen “barat houses” or businesses that arrange the procession of the groom to the bride’s house, with horse, band, and wagon, etc., which are all booked, as are the guest houses and dharma shalas. Pandal and tent rental companies, catering companies, sweet shops, flower vendors, beauty parlors are all fully booked as well, many for months ahead of time.
At this late date it is unlikely anyone could find a tent suitable for a wedding, and prices are skyrocketing for all other wedding-related necessities. Shortages are also being felt in milk-products. Some schools are offering premises for those who are unable to find places to house guests or hold the weddings.