In the Indian culture, haldi or turmeric holds a very special place of honour in our customs as well as any kind of home remedy. It is quite popular for its healing properties that is the reason why it has become such an important part of any Ayurvedic treatment. But one area that fondly makes haldi an important part is our flamboyant traditions. In Indian weddings, this magical ingredient has an entire ceremony on its name. Yes, I am definitely referring to the beautiful yet vibrant Haldi ceremony.
According to all the ancient texts and all the stories that we have heard from our grandparents every ritual in an Indian wedding has a deep rooted significance and meaning and Haldi ceremony is one of them. It is true that haldi is applied before the wedding for the glow that it brings to the skin but it also has other significance, so let’s see what those are:
Significance of Haldi Ceremony
The haldi ceremony is one of the most beautiful ceremony in any Indian wedding. It is a ceremony in which a paste of haldi is applied on the bride and the groom before their wedding. This ceremony is conducted at both the bride and the groom’s place. It is usually done in the morning of their wedding. In few cultures, this ceremony is also conducted a day before the wedding, usually after the mehendi ritual. Haldi ceremony is known by various names in various other regions, like ubtan, mandha, tel baan, etc.
Traditionally, for this ceremony the bride and the groom’s family make a paste of haldi and different ingredients according to their family customs. I have seen some of them mix haldi with sandalwood powder and milk, while others mix it with rose water. This paste is then applied on both the bride and the groom’s face, neck, hands and feet, by their relatives and friends. Sometimes to make this ceremony a little more entertaining for the guest’s song and dance performance are put up by the family.
Whenever I have been to this ritual I have usually witnessed holi being played with haldi among the siblings and friends. But if we go by the custom the bride and the groom apply a small portion of this on their unmarried friends and siblings. It is just because according to many folk lures whoever is the first one to be touched by the paste would soon get a prospective groom or bride.
But the real question still is why it is so important in any Indian wedding. Here are some of the reasons:
To Keep Evil Eye At Bay
It is a very common believe among the elders of the family that the reason behind applying haldi is to ward off evil spirits from affecting the happiness of the new couple. This is also a reason why, the bride and groom are not allowed to leave their home after the commencement of the haldi ceremony. In some traditions, I have also seen a sacred red thread being tied in their hand or sometimes even given small amulets that would protect them against evil eye.
The Colour Is Very Pure And Auspicious
The yellow colour of turmeric is believed to be very auspicious according to Indian traditions. It is also believed that turmeric itself and also its bright yellow colour is very pure as it indicates towards a life of prosperity for the couple who are about to start a new life together. This is also a reason why, in some Indian cultures the bride and groom are supposed to wear yellow clothes for their haldi ceremony as well as their wedding day.
For That Glow
In the olden days there were no parlors or expensive beauty treatment but the brides of those days looked radiant and had a very beautiful glow on their skin, this was all because of this magical ingredient Haldi which is known for its properties that leave the skin fair and glowing.
As It Purifies
Haldi also holds a very important place not only in Indian traditions but also in Ayurveda because it purifies and cleanses your body. It is also popular as an effective exfoliating agent. After the ceremony, when the haldi paste is rinsed off, it also helps in getting rid of dead cells and also detoxifies the skin very effectively.
Helps With Pre-Wedding Jitters
We all know the properties of Haldi being beautification, cleansing and detoxification, but haldi is also known have calming affect on the bride and the groom. Curcumin, is an antioxidant that the turmeric contains, which works as a mild anti-depressant and a natural remedy for headaches as well. So, it is a really good way to relieve wedding day anxiety and jitters.
Haldi a very important part of Ayurveda has always been a very important part of Indian weddings for the very same reason. It is true that haldi has many beautifying properties but the property of haldi that I love is that it also acts like a calming effect for the bride and the groom. As a wedding and the fear of a new life does builds up anxiety in the groom and the bride and haldi helps them to get relief from it. Haldi for me is not a ceremony it is a treatment that helps any couple get through the wedding without feeling like getting up and running away.
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