In India, Hindu weddings are elaborate occasions, with special attention particularly given to the bride’s eye-catching jewelry with their ornate engravings and parts studded with priceless jewels. The bride’s glittery stones, however, are more than just accessories; for the bride, each piece possess a cultural, as much as a personal, significance.
The ritual of wearing and exchanging wedding rings dates back to the Ancient Egyptians who believe that a ring is a symbol of eternity. The hole in the center signifies a door or a gateway to a hopeful future, which is essentially how a marriage begins. As life unfolds for them, the union is strengthened with the wedding ring further signifying eternal love between couples. Ancient Romans, meanwhile, believe that its placement on the third finger of the left hand has its significance, since the vein in this finger runs directly to the heart.
In India, a necklace the bride wears, called a haar, is made of gold with heavy and intricate designs. Another neckpiece, called the mangalsutra, is what the groom offers to his wife and wears it on her as a sign of his love and commitment for as long as they both live.
Traditionally, bangles are worn by a married woman as a charm to bestow safety and luck for her and her husband. The significance of bangles changes in different places in India: in South India, for instance, brides usually wear green bangles that signify fertility and prosperity.
Weddings in India are not totally different from weddings in other cultures. A wedding ritual is essentially a celebration of life and the union between a man and a woman making vows of eternal love for each other.