The wedding is the most beautiful & sweet moment in the couple’s life. This auspicious moment not only brings two souls together forever but also brings them close to their family & friends who join them in the celebrations as a couple begins their new life together. In this new phase of life blessings & wishes are very important to these people for a couple’s happy & smooth journey.
In the marriage, there are so many customs & traditions for the bride & groom. The Chooda & Kalire ceremony is one of the sweetest, unforgettable & auspicious event of the marriage & especially these ceremonies held for the bride-to-be. These ceremonies are the part of Himachali & Punjabi weddings. Both these ceremonies are held at bride’s place on the morning of marriage day.
Chooda is a set of bangles, for a new bride Chooda implies being newly married. Traditionally, Chooda is a set of 21 bangles in the combination of red & white. In the old days Chooda was made up of ivory , but nowadays it is made up of plastic.
Chooda is known to bring good luck for the newly wed. Choora is the most important part of the bride’s Solah Shringar. In Hindus red color is the very important for a married woman. It is believed that it strengthen the bond between a couple. Prosperity & fertility are also associated with the Chooda. Chooda is worn minimum 40 days and maximum 1.5 years after marriage. In the modern era, the newly bride wear Chooda for 40 days only.
If a newly bride became pregnant before her first anniversary the Chooda is taken off. Nowadays brides can select Chooda of different colors (such as Pink, maroon, orange & white) matching to their bridal dress.
A havan or puja is usually organized during Chooda ceremony. Chooda is brought by the girl’s maternal Uncle & Aunt i.e. Mama Ji & Mami Ji. The Chooda is firstly purified with milk & rose petals. After that, Chooda is put on the wrist of the bride by the maternal uncle. It is believed that the bride cannot see the Chooda before her marriage. It is believed that if she sees Chooda before her marriage it would be inauspicious for her. In Chooda ceremony, a holy thread is also tied on the wrist of the bride called ganna. Ganna helps to keep away bad spirits & it is opened after marriage at in –laws.
Kalires are umbrella-shaped hanging a unique combination with Chooda. Kalire signifies the happiness for the newly wed & eternal love between the couple. Kalire are made up of silver or dry coconut & makhana that are encrusted with the dried beetle nuts & dry fruits. But nowadays many Kalire are available in the market made up of metal & studded with rhinestones. These are available in the market in various designs & size so one can pick according to their choice.
Kalire are tied to the brides bangles by her relatives, friends & family members. The coconut Kalire signifies that she never runs out of food in the new home & the metal Kalire signifies that wealth & prosperity. The brides also shaking her Chooda & Kalire worn hands on the heads of all unmarried girls who presents there. It believes that if any part or leaf of the Kalire falls on the head of any girl, she will be the next one to get married. After the wedding, the bride keeps their kalire at the parental home as a memory & the rest among are distributed to the sister-in-laws.