18 Aug 2014

AND NOW FOR AN UN- FROG -ETTABLE POST.

In what is surely a unique ceremony the people of Dubrugarh, Assam, watched 
six hour wedding ceremony which saw ...... two FROGS joined in matrimony in the belief that the ritual would bring rainfall during dry spells. FULL ARTICLE

Generally considered a harbringer of good luck as far as wet weather is concerned. Whilst European folklore has it that if a frog is heard croaking outside rain is guaranteed in the Vedic traditions they are seen as deities that chant by croaking for rain in times of drought.

Hmm, I wonder what other myths/celebrations/old wives tales involve frogs?

Believed by my nana to be a remedy for warts (thank goodness she never got to try her theory out, that she used a wet matchstick head instead - incidentally this didn't work any more than I suspect the frog would have done). I seem to remember her telling me that it used to be believed that carrying a dessicated frog in a pouch around your neck was said to prevent epilepsy. That putting a live frog in your mouth (talk about having a frog in the throat) would alleviate thrush or, worse still for those with certain lung conditions, a live frog swallowed would cure tuberculosis and whooping cough.

Often connected with rebirth - in ancient Egypt the frog was most commonly associated with Heket/Heqet, goddess of fertility and protectress of childbirth, in the Greco-Roman tradition as a symbol of Aphrodite (goddess of love and beauty). Also associated with death. One European myth claimed that frogs housed the souls of dead children and thus it was bad luck to kill one whilst an ancient Asian tradition claimed the frog opened the way to communication between the living and the spirit realm giving the deceased the ability to continue speaking with the living.


Youngest daughter of the king,
Open up the door for me,
Don't you know what yesterday,
You said to me down by the well?
Youngest daughter of the king,
Open up the door for me.
- The Frog King, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm


In literature often depicted in stories of transformation (Japanese folklore told of a woman transformed into a frog as punishment for murdering her husband). In tales like 'The Frog Prince', 'The Frog King/Iron Heinrich', 'The Prince Who Married A Frog', etc in which a prince is transformed into a frog, his only hope being a spoiled princess who must see past his exterior ugliness in order to see the beauty within and thus change him back to his former self.




10 comments:

Brian Joseph said...

Great post Tracy. I really enjoyed this one.

I live in a place where in the warmer months the frogs serenade me every night. I will in the future think of those Vedic Traditions.

Kelly said...

I'm certainly glad I've never had reason to try out some of these remedies. Ugh!

I do know that before a rain I often hear the tree frogs calling for it.

This was a fun post. Ribbit!

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

The very idea of putting a frog anywhere near my mouth, let alone in it!!! Ugh!

I seem to remember hearing my own nan talk of boiling frogs, so I googled it and managed to find this tidbit of totally useless information ...

"The behavior of frogs illustrating nonaction is typically expressed in the story of the boiling frog: put a frog in boiling water and it will jump out, but put it in cold water and slowly heat it, and it will not notice the danger and will be boiled alive. The story has been repeated numerous times to highlight the importance of unnoticed gradual changes."

Why nan ever needed to know about boiling frogs, I'll never know and she is no longer alive to ask. As far as I know, she was never a witch!

Can we change the subject to something a little more congenial and better looking for next week please! ... LOL!

Yvonne.

Literary Feline said...

As desperate as we are in need of rain where I live, I don't think I'd be above seeing two frogs joined in matrimony. LOL

I wonder if my mom knows all this about frogs. She adores them.

Suko said...

What a fun and utterly "unfrogettable" post!

(o)(o)
( __ )
( uu )

ribbit....

Naida said...

Interesting frog lore! My son has a frog as a pet, and usually has one at any given time throughout the years, as he loves to create habitats for them and feeding them. In all the years of his owning frogs, I have never touched one of them. They creep me out a little, I think it's the eyes.
Happy Monday!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Fun post. Still hate to see frogs in forced matrimony. LOL

Anilkumar Kurup said...

Fascinating, truly fascinating. The poem was lovely .
Well for once the frogs seem to have been given sense of importance.
Let us forget the princess who kisses the frog and transform him to his former princely self. The poor creatures must have some respectability of their own and unaided.

Heather said...

i hadn't really thought about these incidents of frogs showing up in stories etc. but now that you mention it, they do prevail.

Arti said...

Very interesting. I never knew so much about frogs and how they were considered good luck charms in certain cultures and Vedic traditions. Wow, next time I see a frog, I am sure to see it differently! Many thanks for this truly unfroggetable post, Tracy. Loved reading it as always.