India’s new female priestesses are solemnizing weddings, breaking barriers and stereotypes in the formerly patriarchal sphere. Priestess weddings simplify and shorten the service, and make it more participatory. These weddings are trending among educated women and their mothers, who want equal female participation in place of the traditional Kanya daan, in which father gives daughter to husband. Women priests and their clients see changes in ritual as a way of social reform.

Speakers: Wedding celebrants. MohanaBaidya, psychologist, wedding guest. Sanchita Bala(MBA student), wedding guest. Female priest and Sanskrit language professor of Jadavpur University, Nandini Bhowmick. Agnita Banerjee, advocate [patent lawyer] and wedding guest. Dr Ananya Bhowmick, first woman in Kolkata to be married by a female priest (2018) and daughter of Nandini Bhowmick. Durga Shirodgar, cyber law expert who has trained to be a woman priest.

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