The colour red has always been an integral part of an Indian wedding. Red is considered to be the colour of love, sensuality and boldness in the western world. But in India a country rich with culture and history red has always been a symbol of passion, commitment, strength and bravery.
Importance of Marriage in India
Marriage in Hindu culture of India is not just the joining of two people and their families it is a pious ritual filled ceremony that joins two souls for eternity. The vedas and matras read during a marriage are said to connect two people for their whole life and the rebirths they are going to take in their next life. For such a pious ceremony every ritual, cloth, accessory etc. have their own unique significance and meaning to bride and groom’s upcoming union. Similarly every colour hold its own significance and symbolism to the ceremony and its rituals like yellow for ‘haldi’ ceremony, red for wedding etc.
Symbolism of Red
Red is a bold colour that stands out anywhere and when a bride wears a red lehenga (north India) or a red saree (south and west India) during her wedding ceremony she glows amid the crowd making her special day more special. But this is not the only reason for wearing red.
Red in its every shade holds a different meaning and importance to Hindus and their ceremonies. The colour red is a symbol of rising sun and is also representation of the red planet Mars, as in Hindu astrology it is considered as the planet of marriage. The colour red is not limited only to the bride’s attire but to all the accessories like bangles, headgear, jewellery etc. that the bride wears for the wedding ceremony. In some of the other states in India white, yellow, pink etc. colour saree is worn by the bride but one or the other significant part of her look is told to be in red colour.
Red signifies eternity or an eternal bond that is to be forged between the bride and the groom. Even the gifts or naake that is exchanged between the groom and bride are kept in a plate that is covered with red cloth.
Also during the marriage ceremony red sindoor or Vermillion is applied by the groom on the bride’s hairline signifying their union. This sindoor or vermillion is always worn by the bride till her significant other passes away. In the western world a married women can be recognised by her wedding but in India a married woman can be recognised by red vermillion on her hairline.
Generally the red lehenga worn by the bride is filled with heavy golden embroidery on the lehenga (skirt), the blouse and the chunari (that is to be worn on top of the head). With the changing trends the designs and looks of the lehengas have been changed but the colour red remains unchanged. So the next time you see a bride wearing red remember that it is a symbol of unity, power, strength, passion and commitment.