Ah romance. Love is a uniting force in every culture, and what could be more uniting across cultures than being invited to a wedding while on your travels - especially if it’s a wedding baring some similarity to the story of Romeo and Juliet – but with a happier end. The legend of the Imilchil Marriage Feast is that a young man from one local tribe fell in love with a young woman from another – and vice versa – yet like Romeo and his Juliet they were forbidden to marry and cried themselves to death in lakes of tears. His tears created lake Issly and hers Tisslit. That’s not the happy bit – the happier bit is that the two tribes were so full of regret that they created a special day on which couples from different tribes were allowed to be wed – which is what the festival is about today. If your life view is more pragmatic then you can see it as a smart way to widen the gene pool.
But the really exciting bit is that this is like speed dating for keeps. As a potential bride you’re dressed up in your bridal garb and potential grooms do the rounds meeting you and your family, all of you basically trying to work out – from a few hours of dancing and conversation if you’re going to be a good couple for life. If he puts an offer in for you and you and your family accept then you utter the immortal, binding words ‘You have captured my liver’ and the match is decided - and you're married by the end of the day.
Naturally, whether or not you’re willing to give your liver to your lover there’s some dancing and some eating and drinking to be done and generally a good time to be had by all. More exciting than an episode of Sex and the City.
The annual festival dates are dependent on the harvest so are different each year, but are usually in September.
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