Solah shringar literally means the sixteen adornments of a bride. It alludes to the ritual whereby the Indian bride is embellished from head to toe. The solah shringar shows off and gives light to the divinity inside the beauty of women.
According to the Hindu mythology, solah shringar corresponds to the ‘sixteen phases’ of the moon which is believed to connect with a woman’s menstrual cycle having a negative effect. This ritual is believed to counterbalance this effect. The term shringar is symbolic of Goddess Lakshmi who is an ideal wife and signifies luck, prosperity and fertility. An Indian bride is referred to as Lakshmi who brings luck, wealth and prosperity to the new family.
Below are the sixteen different accessories and jewles solah shringar encompasses.
Kesha means hair, pasha means flock, and rachana means arrangement. The kesha or the hair is twined according to the tradition, in sync with the attire. It is then adorned with gajra, flowers.
Mang-Tikka or Mang-Teeka/ Mang-Patti/ Bhor or Borla:
This is generally made of precious metal like gold and embellished with precious stones. It is worn on the centre parting of the hair and it falls down the center of the bride’s the forehead.
Sindoor refers to the vermilion applied to the bride’s forehead. It is a sacred symbol of suhag or a married woman, similar to the wedding band in the western countries. It denotes the aspect of completeness, which a woman accomplishes when she gets united in the holy bond of marriage.
Bindi/Tikka or Tilak:
This bears a religious connotation for most women. Traditionally, it is a circular dot of vermilion in the center of the forehead, just above the eyes. It symbolizes a woman’s dedication towards her husband.
This is the kohl applied on the lower-lid of the eye. It highlights and accentuates the beauty of a bride’s countenance.
The bride is made to wear a nath, or the nose ring, in order to make her look ethnic and traditional. It is made of gold and embellished with diamonds or pearls and is worn in the left nostril. It is supported by a gold chain that extends from the ear.
These are the heavy embellished earrings which can be supported with a chain that connects to the side of the bride’s head.
Mangal Sutra/ Haar:
As a bride you will adorn necklaces or haar of various lengths which signifies prosperity. One of which is mangal sutra, given to the bride by the groom.
These are arm bands or armlets are worn on the upper arms over the saree.
The bride wears bangles and bracelets made of gold, glass, ivory, and other precious materials that symbolize a long life for her husband.
Henna is applied on the hands and feet of the bride in beautiful and intricate designs. Its dark color epitomizes the love and affection between the couple.
A bride wears eight rings attached to a medallion through chains. It covers the upper part of the hand. If it includes the thumb ring then, it’s called aarsi. It describes love.
This is a beautiful belt or a waistband placed around the waist of the bride to support the saree.
These are the anklets that the bride wears. In addition to the anklets, her feet are colored with the red color called Mahur or Alta in thick designs.
These are the toe rings that a bride is supposed to wear until her husband’s death.
This is the overall wedding attire. It is mostly red in color and gold embroidery is considered a favorable sign of future success. Red symbolizes purity and the union of two souls.
And finally, some itar or perfume lends the final touch to the complete trousseau of Solah Shringar. These ornaments and adornments enhance the beauty of the bride and give her a wonderful, heavenly appearance for the day of her Indian matrimony.