According to the Hindu wedding culture, the demure bride is adorned by a set of ornamentations that enhance her look on her wedding day. The Hindu mythology states that there are sixteen of these adornments called the Solah Shringar that complete the bride. The following article will discuss about these rituals and accessories beautifying the Hindu brides.
The Ceremonial Bath
The Hindu bride is given a ceremonial bath on the wedding day wherein her hair is oiled with premium oils and a paste made from milk, turmeric, gram flour and sandalwood is applied on her hands, legs and face. The girl is then bathed and her hair washed with a combination of medicinal plants like Shikakai, Brahmi, Aloe Vera, Amla and Bhringraj. This gives her glowing skin and shiny hair.
The Wedding Dress
The wedding dress, called Shaadi ka joda in Hindi, is usually a saree, lehanga or suit of bright color like red, maroon or magenta. It is heavily embroidered in gold thread.
Keshapasharachana or hair arrangement of braid symbolizes the three Indian rivers – Saraswati, Yamuna and Ganga. This symbolizes the trinity of Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva.
The Hindi bride’s hair is decorated with flowers or Gajra. The flowers used in the Gajra arrangement are usually Jasmine.
Mangtikka is the accessory worn between the central partings of hair which ends at the forehead. This symbolizes a woman’s status as the preserver of the human race order. There are various types of Mangtikkas, for instance there is one with chains running along the hairline of the bride to highlight her face.
The Vermillion or Sindoor is indicates that the woman is married. Applied on the central parting between the hair, it is a red-colored powder symbolizing fertility and sacred redness. The Sindoor is applied by the groom during the wedding ceremonies.
It is placed on the center of the bride’s forehead where, according to Hindu mythology, the mystical third eye is located. This eye represents fire. The Bindi may also indicate that the woman is wedded.
Kohl or Kajal is applied is applied as eyeliner on the bride’s eyelids. This accentuates and highlights the eyes.
The nose ring or Nath is among the most ethnic and traditional accessories worn by the bride. It is tied to the hair from one end and placed on the nose from the other. The simpler versions may just be worn on the nose.
These beautify the ears of the Indian bride
The Mangal Sutra or necklace is mostly made of black beads and gold. It is first worn by a girl during wedding rituals. The groom ties it around her neck, symbolizing companionship.
The Armbands or Baajuband are the symbol of beauty and are made of gold and precious stones. They are believed to keep evil at bay.
The Mehendi or henna represents love and strength of marriage. The hands and feet of the bride are decorated with beautiful designs with a mehndi paste a day before the marriage.
The Choodiya or Chooda in the hands are the indication of a new bride. The new bride is not permitted to do household chores until the bangles lose their color and are removed.
When brides have their faces covered with dupatta to prevent the groom from seeing her face, the thumb rings or Aarsi help her see her partner as they are embedded with mirrors.
Kamarband or waistband is an embellished belt made from gold and precious gems. It accentuates the waist of the bride and helps hold the saree in place.
Payal (Anklets) and Bichuas (Toe rings)
The Payal is a chain with tiny bells that makes beautiful sound when a bride walks, while the Bichuas are worn on a foot’s second toe.
The Itar or fragrance is applied for the bride to smell nice and fresh throughout the wedding rituals.
Author bio: Devika Arora is a prolific writer who compiles relevant facts and analyzes current state of affairs pertaining to varied domains, such as employment, education, real estate and matrimony in the Indian context. She is currently writing informative articles, news stories and blog posts on behalf of JeevanSathi.com.