Since many centuries Bael (Aegle marmelos) fruit, commonly known as wood apple has been an integral part of Newari culture. Bael fruit is considered to be a sacred tree and also used for its medicinal purposes.
In one of its kind rare rituals, young Newari girls between 4 to 11 years are married to a bael fruit. Here the bael fruit resembles lord Shiva. It is only after this bael biwaha or the ihi, she is allowed to marry to any person in her later years. It is a customary that the every newari girls should perform this ritual before her adolescence. Till the fruit remains un-cracked the girl shall never have to undergo widowhood even after his husband’s death.