By Jasleen Kaur Last Updated:
In our Indian culture, haldi or turmeric holds a special place of honour. It is known for its anti-inflammatory and other healing properties, because of which it has become popular as a medicine as well. And, one area where it holds the most important place is when it comes to Indian traditions. In Indian weddings, this amazing ingredient has an entire ceremony to its name. You guessed it right! We are referring to the vibrant haldi ceremony.
According to the ancient texts, there is a significance for every ritual that forms a part of the Indian wedding, including the haldi ceremony. So, we decided to focus on this wonderful wedding ritual, and throw some light on its significance.
The haldi ceremony is the one in which a paste of haldi is applied to the bride and the groom’s body before their wedding. This ceremony is held at both the bride and the groom’s place, on the morning of the wedding day. In a few cultures, this ceremony is also held a day before the wedding, after the mehendi ritual. It is known by different names in different regions, like ubtan, mandha, tel baan, etc.
Traditionally, people make a paste using haldi and different ingredients according to their individual family customs. While some mix it with sandalwood powder and milk, others mix it with rose water. This paste is then applied on the bride and the groom’s face, neck, hands and feet, by their near and dear ones. This ceremony is also accompanied by traditional songs and dances at times.
In many customs, the bride and the groom also apply a small portion of this sacred paste to their unmarried friends and siblings. It is said that whoever gets touched by this paste will soon find a good looking partner.
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Most people believe that the reason for applying haldi is to ward off evil spirits from affecting the bride and the groom. This is why, the bride and groom are usually not allowed to leave their home after the haldi ceremony, until their wedding mahurat. In some traditions, they are also tied to a sacred red thread or given some small amulets and other items for protection against evil eye.
The yellow colour of turmeric is considered very auspicious in Indian traditions. The auspiciousness of this ingredient and its colour ushers in a life of prosperity for the couple, who are starting off their new life together. This is why in many cultures, the bride and groom wear yellow clothes on their wedding day as well.
In the olden days, when cosmetic beauty treatments and parlours were not available, Indians had their own natural beauty secrets to ensure that a couple looked radiant and wonderful on their wedding day. Haldi is known to have properties that leave the skin fair and glowing.
Since turmeric or haldi is known for its medicinal properties as well as being antiseptic, an application of this ingredient before marriage would ensure that the bride and groom are blessed with blemish-free skin. It also ensures that the couple is protected against any cuts, bruises or ailments before the wedding.
Haldi holds such an important place in Indian traditions because it also purifies and cleanses the body. It is known as an effective exfoliating agent. After the haldi ceremony, when the paste is rinsed off, it helps to get rid of dead cells and detoxifies the skin.
Apart from its property of beautification, cleansing and detoxification, haldi is also known to alleviate some of the nervousness that the bride and the groom feel. Curcumin, an antioxidant that is present in turmeric, is known to work as a mild anti-depressant and a natural remedy for headaches as well. So, it is a good way to relieve wedding day anxiety and jitters. Haldi is also known to boost immunity, and also helps to soothe an upset stomach.
This is one of the foremost steps on the wedding day that is an indication of the wedding preparations. The ceremony in itself means that the bride and the groom are being prepared for their big day. Not just this, it also helps them relax.
As many of you might know, yellow is a colour that is associated with spring, happiness and new beginnings. In Hindu wedding rituals, yellow is the second most auspicious colour after red. One of the reasons behind applying haldi is that the bride and groom invite peace and prosperity. In fact, many bride and grooms are asked to wear yellow on this ritual.
Yes, that’s absolutely right! In case any of you wants to get married, attend this ceremony and apply some of the haldi on your face and this is believed to help you marry soon. Yes, it is actually believed that if the bride or the groom applies the magical turmeric paste on their unmarried friends or cousins, they get married soon.
Also, the ladies who are involved in this ritual or the ones who apply haldi, shower the bride-to-be and the groom-to-be with lots of happiness and togetherness. All the ladies while applying the paste bless him/her for a happy married life.
Just like any other Indian ritual, Haldi ceremony too is celebrated with giggles and smiles. When is your haldi ceremony expected to happen? Or has it happened already? Do keep us posted in the comments section below!