Indian traditions have always been rooted with a mystical and scientific approach. Many of these traditions might have lost the essence of why it is performed, but it is just that with time certain elements are lost in translation. Today we shall re-enlighten one such tradition, The tradition of Haldi.
Haldi or turmeric, has for eon been considered to have unmatched medicinal value. In our culture it is also considered auspicious and divine. We use it both topically and orally. But we are not here to talk about that, are we? Haldi ceremony is an important pre-wedding function and marks the beginning of the wedding rituals. It is one of the most important wedding ceremonies after the tilak function.
Traditionally a paste of Raw haldi, sandalwood, gram flour, rose water and oil is made. This paste is then applied on the head, neck, shoulder and feet of the bride & groom, by friends and family. It marks the beginning of an auspicious union and the purification of the bride & the groom, in a ceremonial bath. In some cultures, it is also applied to unmarried friends, belief being it helps them find a life partner (here comes the mysticism).
As we have already mentioned India is a country shrouded with mysticism. Science and tradition here are not exclusive but mutually inclusive, here are our top picks on the importance of haldi.
Haldi is considered a healing agent. It is considered auspicious, it symbolizes purity, fertility (often mixed in warm milk and given to the groom on his wedding night) & good health.
Haldi is considered to alleviate anxiety. A compound called curcumin is present in haldi which acts as a mild antidepressant. Hence when used it eases off that pre-wedding jitters. It helps the couple stay calm.
Haldi has a divine effect on your skin and is considered good for you. It cleanses and exfoliates the pores of your skin giving it a divine golden glow. It also leaves you looking fresh.
Peace & Prosperity
Yellow is the colour of new beginnings, peace and prosperity. Overall it is the colour of Harmony. Hence haldi marks the beginning of wedding ceremonies, it is in hope that it will bring peace and prosperity to the newlywed couple. It is also considered the most auspicious colour after Red in our culture.
Haldi is considered a purifier of body and soul, literally and mystically. Hence it is considered as a purifying ritual before the holy reunion.
It is considered that haldi has the mystical power to ward off evil as it is considered pure. Hence haldi is a warding ritual to save the couples from any evil effect. This is also the reason why after haldi the bride & groom are not allowed to leave their homes until the wedding.
The ritual is also held because all your dear and near one’s attend the ceremony to bless you on your new journey. It is an intimate celebration.
Like many and all Indian wedding rituals, the most important reason is to have fun. We Indians believe in being happy and spreading happiness, we never miss a chance to enjoy and party.
Psst… I think the Gods knew that, and hence all our rituals are such that family and friends gather together on such occasion, and we end up partying.