Almost every girl dreams of getting married and having the perfect wedding day. Some start planning their weddings in their head at a very young age, setting the perfect month to wed , even though they barely understand the meaning of marriage itself. However, the month of November is a slow month for couples in Zimbabwe as it is considered a taboo to get married during that month. This belief goes back many years, with a fear that a November wedding will bring bad luck.
Wilbert Sadomba, in “Using Taboos and Proverbs as Oral Archives of Indigenous Knowledge” eloquently describes this month as follows;
“Women are regarded with the sanctity of nature because they possess power of regeneration through their fecundity. This is reflected in a number of values, beliefs and taboos. November is known a ‘Mwedzi wembudzi’, the month of the goat. November marks the period of regeneration of both flora and fauna following the first rains. With abundance of food, herbivores of all kinds start to reproduce and November is the peak period for this process of regeneration. This observation led to the development of the taboo that forbids marriage during the month of November.”
If it is a traditional marriage ceremony, dowry (kuroora), that marriage will not be recognized and will not subsist at cultural level, and that also applies when it is a bira which will not be received within the spiritual realm. The scary part about the November Taboo is that although it is not recognized officially on any calendar, it is known that whoever transgresses this cultural law, would have traditionally performed an abomination. An appeasement fee (kuripa) will then be required to cleanse the traditional artifacts that would have been blasphemed against. Mostly traditional and cultural events or rites performed during this period are rendered as a nullity or non-event at cultural level and would have to be re-done at appropriate times.
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