Indian Bridal Jewellery
There is traditional or cultural symbolism and meaning behind just about every item of jewellery worn by an Indian bride on her wedding day. For Hindu brides, the ritual of being adorned in jewels pays respect to the goddess Lakshmi, who represents beauty and femininity. Given the cultural diversity of the country, the list of different pieces worn either religiously or regionally would be a long one. Here are a few of the significant ones:
Earrings - Legend has it that evil spirits can enter the body through it’s openings. Earrings were believed to protect the new bride against evil.
Maang Tikka - This is an accessory worn in the centre of the bride’s forehead. The point where it falls is believed to be the ajna chakra which means “to know or perceive”, allowing the bride to gain insight and control from this “third eye”.
Bangles and Bajuband - The colour, designs and symbolism of bridal bangles vary depending on region. In South India, green bangles signify fertility and prosperity. A bajuband is an ornament worn at the top of the bride’s bicep which signifies strength and ability - necessary virtues for a bride.
Kamarbandh - A chain of elaborate design that is worn around the waist. The manipura chakra is located at the waist (or navel) and is associated with confidence and power. Traditionally, the kamarbandh also included a ring to hold the household keys, presented to the bride by her new mother-in-law, representing the transfer of power and responsibility.
Nath - A nath or nose ring is an age-old tradition that represents the bride’s virginity. Nose piercing is said to have acupuncture benefits and Ayurveda claims that women who have their nose pierced on the left side experience less menstrual pain and easier childbirth.
Hath Phool - Literally translating to “hand flower”, hath phools include a chain that traditionally connected a bracelet to five individual rings on each of the bride’s fingers. Flowers are an important symbol in Indian weddings, representing new life and happiness.
(All images courtesy of Pinterest and information on the jewellery courtesy of The Huffington Post)