Bangles are one of the most important ornaments that an Indian woman wears; they are considered the most loved and important jewellery that ever Indian woman has.They are part of various traditions and customs in India and Nepal. In Hindu culture, bangles are symbol of marriage and purity, all most every married women will have their wrist and arms covered with different bangles. In some cultures the young and unmarried girls are also expected to wear at least one or two bangles in each wrist as, the display of bare hands is considered bad and inauspicious.
Bangles are universal, it has become one of the most fashionable and funky accessory around the world, thanks to fashion! They come in many types and varieties, ranging from vivid and colorful plastic bracelets, expensive gold and diamond jewellery to attractive and delicate glass. There are different types of bangles –metal, plastic, shell, terra cotta, glass, gold, silver and even ivory. From simple bangles made of metals to the ones adorned with detailed handwork and to the pieces that are set in precious gemstones. Not just style and designs even colors play an important role in some culture, like specifically green, orange, red and yellow are colors of marriage.
Bangles are part and parcel of the rich Indian culture and never ever they can be separated. In most cases, plastic bangles are worn everyday as its light and come in easy price. Glass and metal bangles as compared to plastic are little expensive and are fancy too, many women prefer to mix and match plastic, glass or metal bangles to bring the stunning effect and to match up with occasions and one’s outfit. Gold, platinum and silver bangles are one of the most expensive and equally favourite of all the women and are mostly worn at weddings and varieties of other occasions and festivals. Silver bangles are worn most often during Navratri. Bangles are one of the most important ornaments that a married woman wears, it is considered as a significant sign of their ‘suhaag’, in other words, their husband.
The Different Bangles and their Significance
- In south India, women usually adorn their wrist with green and red colored bangles. All the brides wear green color bangles as green signifies prosperity and fertility. But not just green and red we can find women from south India sharing their love for gold banglesgenerously, most of them would have gold dazzling and jingling in their wrist. Not just limiting to adornment, every south Indian woman when she is pregnant, in the seventh month are gifted bangles of different colors through a ritual called Valaikaapu.
- In Punjab, the newly wed brides are given ivory bangles (Chuda) that are usually teamed with red or green bangles. This Chuda or the ivory bangles are must have and compulsory for every brides in Rajasthan and Gujarat, the Chuda is gifted to bride by her mother and after wearing the Chuda, the couples can perform the ‘Saat Phera’ or the seven rounds around the holy fire. They are supposed to wear these bangles for a given period, which can go up to a month or a year depending on the families and custom.
- In West Bengal, the mother-in-law gifts her daughter-in-law an iron bangle before she enters her husband’s house, this iron bangle are usually plated with gold, which gives the bangle an appealing look. Not just the iron bangle, a pair of each shell bangles and red coral bangles are also gifted to the bride that signifies the marital status of the newlywed couple. In Orissa and West Bengal, pola and Shankha are mandatory for all the married women, both these bangles are cut and designed intricately. Shankha are white bangles made up of conch-shell and pola are red bangles made up of red corals.