Hindu brides traditionally wear some variation of red. Sindhoor or the color of the planet Mars is very popular because it is associated with life, fertility, love and luck. Red is auspicious and prestigious. Mars, by the way, is the planet that rules marriage in Hindu culture. Hindus may also incorporate green for fertility or orange for renunciation.
Interestingly, the Christian tradition of wearing white is frowned upon by traditional Indian brides. Most American brides wear a variation of white, representing purity and virginity. On the contrary, Hindus associate white with widowhood or mourning.
As with anything, contemporary thoughts mixed with the desire for self proclamation, entice people to modify traditions. Today there are many who wear whatever color they choose. Some even combine the traditions of old with modern day concepts to create their own unique ceremony.Two acts were passed in the 50’s that further defined the way a Hindu could marry. In 1954 an act was passed called the Special Marriage Act. It stated that a Hindu can marry a person who is not Hindu, “employing any ceremony provided specified legal conditions are fulfilled”. A year later in ’55 the Hindu Marriage Act was passed stating that “all Hindus of any caste, creed or sect, Sikh, Buddhists and Jains are deemed Hindus and can intermarry”. Of course these acts were passed for legal purposes and even to today many families have not incorporated these lenient standards into their own family.
Throughout the years, many edicts have passed forbidding this practice or allowing another, but anyone who has ever loved knows that rules and laws cannot ever define true love and bring real happiness. Marriage (from any culture) is a sacred pact and should be entered into with certainty of heart and mind barring the opinions of culture and tradition.
Speaking of Marriage, tomorrow we celebrate 7 years of commitment. Celebrate with us!