Category "Traditions of India"


Many Indian women wear rings on their toes. They are traditionally a symbol of marriage. In many communities, the bridegroom slips rings onto the toes of his bride during the wedding ceremony. […]

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In India, it is common to see a line of footwear outside the front doors of homes, and also outside temples and other places of worship. Have you ever wondered why we take off our shoes at the doorstep, not only of the homes which we visit, but also of our own homes? […]

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Aarathi is a ritual performed at Hindu religious ceremonies, in temples, and also in homes. In its most simple form, it involves waving a flame in front of a deity or person in a clockwise direction. The flame can be from a lighted oil lamp, or simply burning camphor. Items like flowers, sandalwood paste and incense sticks may also be placed on an Aarathi plate, made of copper, brass or even silver. It is often accompanied by chanting or singing of bhajans. […]

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Patterns drawn on the ground outside front doors are a common sight in India. They are called kolam in south India and rangoli in north India, though they are known by some other names too. These patterns may be simple or complicated, drawn in white or with colours.

The tradition of drawing kolams dates back about 5000 years. There are several reasons why these patterns are drawn. Broadly speaking, they have a religious purpose, and a decorative one. […]

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Bindis are dots placed on the forehead, just above the space between the eyebrows. The majority of Indian women wear bindis. The word bindi comes from bindu, which means dot in Sanskrit. They are also called pottu or bottu in south India. Traditionally, bindis are red in colour. […]

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