Have you wondered why some Indian brides are wearing a set of red and white bangles on their wedding day or seen a bride wearing beautiful red and white bangles a few days after the wedding? As a Florida based Indian wedding photographer, I have always wondered what the significance of those beautiful bangles is on Indian bride’s arms.
Indian weddings are celebrated in the grandest way. They are a time for celebration for the families of the bride and the groom. The liveliness, the fun, the colour, the songs and the dance, all these along with beautiful Indian traditions make them memorable and bride, groom and the families cherish these moments for a life time. They are a times when all the relatives and friends get together and bless the bride and groom with good luck and prosperity for a happy married life performing many important and interesting rituals before and after the wedding.
These set of bangles is called a Choora and is traditionally worn by bride on the wedding day and for a period after the wedding. This tradition is mostly prevalent in Punjabi families. The tradition is mostly followed in northern parts of India. This signifies her status as a newly married woman. The choora is believed to bring prosperity and fertility to the married couple. This custom is now being adopted from brides across Indian communities as the choora not only looks amazing and beautiful but also lays emphasis on their newly married status like sindoor and mangalsutra.
Traditionally the bangles are red and white in color made of ivory with in lay work though present day brides often choose the two colours as per their choice or bridal dress; one of the colours has to be a tone of white. They are fabricated in plastic now-a- days. It is believed that brides wore 21 red and ivory bangles on each arm as per the tradition and the bride will wear it up to one year after the wedding and the groom removed them after a year. However, now brides choose the number of bangles they would like to wear and they are worn for as long as the bride decides to keep them on, minimum time ranging from a week to 40 days.
The bridal choora is given to the bride by her maternal uncles and they put the bangles on the bride’s hands. The bride has a choice in the design and helps selecting the size. The choora ceremony is held on the morning on the wedding day or a day before. The bride’s maternal uncle and aunt perform this ceremony with the bride. The choora ceremony starts with a bridal bath. The bride takes a bath and wears a new outfit. The maternal uncle escorts the bride from the bath to where choora ceremony is about to take place. The choora ceremony in itself is an interesting one, the choora is soaked in the milk and water combination in a way that the set is not altered as all the bangles in a set are not of the same size. The maternal uncle and aunt then perform the ceremony along with some sweets. The suhaag geet are usually sung by women relatives while this ceremony is being performed. Taking three to four bangles at a time, the maternal uncle places the choora on the bride and if there are more than one maternal uncle the ritual is performed by all in hierarchical order, taking turns. After the ceremony the sweets and shagan are given to the bride. Choora ceremony emphasizes on the important role maternal uncle perform at a wedding and strengthens the bond of affection. Relatives touch the choora and give their heartiest wishes to the girl for her future married life. After slipping the choora on the bride’s hands, uncle covers it with subar (shawl) symbolizing her departure from her family and her home. As per the belief the bride is not supposed to see the choora till she is ready, the choora is covered with handkerchiefs till the bride is adorned with bridal dress and jewellery. So while making the choice for the choora the actual piece is not seen by the bride.
The deep rooted significance behind this tradition makes it is understandable as to why brides today spend a lot of time getting the right set of Bridal choora. The choora beautifully drapes the brides arm and completes her bridal look. Modern brides are setting new style trends for wedding Choora. There are a number of design options in the choora to choose from apart from the colour. The name of the bride and groom can be inscribed on the choora for the world to see, there can be customization as per your wedding theme like peacocks, lamps, florets. Kundan work choora adds glamour to the overall look of the bride. Colour options to match your wedding lehangha are also available to make your Bridal look picture perfect.
Apart from making the bride picture perfect on her wedding day the bridal choora holds a special place in a brides’ heart due to the companionship it offers during the new phase of her life. Newly married brides look divine in any form of traditional or western wear flaunting there choora with the man of their life. These first few weeks make memories and bond that they would cherish forever and their choora becomes a constant in their everyday life. The bride is not supposed to have much of household responsibility till she is wearing the choora and has a comparatively relaxed routine and gets to spend more time with her husband and family and make the relationship stronger. Never have I met a bride who does not lovingly remember her choora and misses wearing it after removing it, even after years. The emotions of belonging-ness and love attached with the choora are individually felt by brides, making for them cherished memories of the first year of their happy marriage. A Choora vadhana ceremony might be held on the day the bride’s choora is removed but these customs vary from family to family. Choora can be kept as keepsake by the bride and preserved in a glass case or stored as such as a set to revisit her fond memories whenever she wants to.
As a Miami wedding photographer, I always here for you to help if you have nay specific questions or concerns. Please, leave a comment or send me a message if you want to add more information.
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