In an Indian wedding, you will never see a bride which is not dressed in gold from head to toe. The ‘Solah Shringar’ is a ritual of adorning the bride-to-be with 16 bridal jewellery that has a huge sentimental value. This ritual is believed to help the bride transcend her into a beautiful and magnificent diva on her wedding day.
Just before the wedding, the bride is carefully dressed and equated with the divinity of Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, fertility and beauty in Hinduism. The celebration of beautifying the bride-to-be is one of the most important occasions in the life of an Indian woman on this important day.
This ritual is also performed on various other occasions and festivals like Karva-Chauth.
The Ritual of ‘Solah Shringar’
A wedding day for a woman signifies the beginning of her new life. She is moving into something she has never experienced before, a completely different role. And she definitely wants to look her best on this day. This ritual is done to enhance the woman’s beauty in a divine aura. The Solah Shringaar translates to ‘16 adornments’ and are a mandatory part of the woman as a whole.
Pre-Shringaar Ritual (The Bath)
Before the ritual is started, the bride-to-be is given a proper bath in which the hair is properly toilet and set with reetha (traditional hair cleaner), water, and milk. Then the process of generating fragrance is done with incense sticks after drying and finally tied together in a bun.
To make the skin glow, a pastor created from turmeric, milk, saffron, and sandalwood is applied to the bride’s body. After some time, this is bathed off and the ritual of dressing the bride starts.
The Bridal Dress
The dress for an Indian bride can be a Saree, Ghagra-Choli or a Lehenga. These come in different colours like red, green marigold, white and styles like Navari, Panetar, or Patani and these represent the bride’s heritage. Red is mostly used as a dress as it is considered an auspicious colour, so this colour must be included in a wedding dress. The dress can also be embroidered with gold threads to signify the ceremonial purity and preciousness of the bride.
Solah Shringar List: 16 Items to Convert the Bride to Queen
As per Hindu mythology, it is believed that these 16 adornments relate to the sixteen phases of the moon.This is also connected with a woman’s menstrual cycle and Solah Shringaar is believed to nullify the negative effects of the cycle.
The adornments which are worn have no definitive order and few of those items may be used differently but the most important thing to note that there should be at least 16 precious ornaments on a bride-to-be when her wedding ceremony begins.