Red & Yellow: Two auspicious colours for an Indian wedding

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Brides these days have an array of saree shades to choose from although many families still prefer to stick to the traditional colours of yellow and red for a wedding. The use of colours throughout India’s history is very interesting because no two regions seem to show the same taste or preference with regard to the colours used in everyday and occasional wear. For example, in lush Kerala, cream and gold is the preferred combination for both Hindu and Christian weddings whereas in a dry state like Rajasthan, vibrant colours in a myriad of hues are chosen.

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The colour red even today stands for terms like ‘bravery’ and ‘valour’, which may also be because it is the colour of blood itself. Not surprisingly, this colour was associated with India’s kshatriyas or the warrior class as well. Besides, red also has an important place in Hindu mythology because of the Goddess Lakshmi and thus also signifies fertility. Many South Indian Brahmin brides are decked up in the finest red sarees on their special day as well. In fact, red Kanjeevaram sarees with a rich gold border and other designs make any blushing bride look so much prettier.

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On the other hand, yellow is a colour that was associated with ascetics and sages who had chosen to lead a spiritual life, away from this world. Ironically, yellow is considered to be the colour of ‘prosperity’ and ‘well-being’. This bright shade features more prominently in North Indian weddings although brides in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are also required to wear a yellow saree for a few wedding ceremonies. In addition, yellow is also the colour of turmeric which has an important place in the pre-wedding rituals of a bride as well. Even today, yellow is considered to be the preferred shade of South Indian women for auspicious ceremonies and social gatherings.

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