updated 12/10/2006 5:15:35 AM ET 2006-12-10T10:15:35

With the planets perfectly aligned for a happy marriage, more than 36,000 weddings will take place in the Indian capital on Sunday, threatening gridlock in the already congested city as guests race to parties.

Indians primarily rely on Vedic astrology -- which dates back to ancient Hindu texts -- to fix the dates and times for weddings or when buying a car or home.

Auspicious days are calculated by pandits, or priests, after elaborate mathematical calculations.

“Until December 8 the position of the sun was not appropriate for marriage,” said Dr. Prem Kumar Sharma, a noted astrologer. “Today is a Sunday, which symbolizes the goodness of the Sun personified, and Jupiter and Venus are also aligned perfectly.”

Police in New Delhi said they would pull out all the stops to keep the city moving.

“We are expecting a huge number of people to go for the weddings today but we are sure that we will tackle the situation,” said Qamar Ahmed, joint commissioner of police in the sprawling city of 14 million people.

As a booming urban economy spreads wealth more and more New Delhi families are throwing elaborate wedding bashes as they struggle to compete with the rich and famous, known to spend millions of dollars on extravagant celebrations.

According to the priests, sacred days are few as they need to blend the positions of the stars, planets and constellations with astrological charts of the bride and groom.

“For us it’s the busiest season,” said Manisha Gakhar of “Shaadi on line,” a wedding planning firm. “It’s difficult to find staff because everybody is mostly tied up.”

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.


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