India is a diverse country with a rich cultural heritage, and its wedding traditions vary greatly across regions, religions and social classes. Marriages in India are grand celebrations that usually last up to a few days, and many wedding customs are similar among Hindus, Muslims, Jains and Sikhs. Hence, most Indian brides use some of the same accessories for their big days.
Bindi on Forehead
Bindi is a bright-red dot worn in the center of the forehead above the eyebrows. Traditionally, if a woman wears a red bindi, it shows she is married and signifies love and prosperity. However, she may wear a bindi in a different shape, size, material and color as a piece of jewelery in a wedding. On their wedding days, many Indian women prefer to wear elaborate bindis to complement their makeup, hair and dress styles.
In an Indian wedding, henna applied on hands, wrists and feet of a bride symbolizes good luck, health and sensuality. Bridal henna typically is made of the crushed leaves of the henna plant and mixed with other natural ingredients such as eucalyptus oil, lemon juice and black tea. Also known as "mehndi," it is applied meticulously and seen as an important ritual to beautify the bride.
Maang tikka is a bridal jewelery worn at the center parting of the hair, with a pendant falling on the center of the forehead. Maang tikka has been used for centuries to give a glamorous and regal touch to the bride. Moreoever, it is regarded to have an tantric and ayurvedic importance. The point on the forehead maang tikka falls represents a chakra, which symbols the sacred union of the male and the female.
Set of Bangles
Most Indian brides wear a set of bangles that are dominantly red and white, which are known as "choora." A maternal uncle gives the set of 21 bangles to the bride, and they are worn in a special ceremony before the wedding. Depending on regional differences, the set of bangles may have different colors, but they always are in two colors. These bangles signify the status of a married woman, and they are a sign of fertility and prosperity.
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