The choora ceremony (also called chuda, chura, or chooda) describes the gift of wedding bangles to the bride by her maternal uncles before her wedding ceremony. This may occur the night before the wedding, or the morning of the festivities. The bride’s family sits on the floor, and everyone present covers their heads, including the bride and her uncles.
The choora are immersed in a mixture of milk and water, while the bride sits with her eyes closed, as she is not to see the choora before they are on her hands. Milk is used in many Hindu rituals, likely because of its link to the sacred cow, and because it is considered pure and cleansing. While the bride’s eyes are closed, her maternal uncles will place the choora on her wrists, and her female family members will gift her jewelry, clothing, or money to wish her well on her wedding day.
The bride’s family will also tie a red thread around her wrist, called a moli (or mauli). In addition, the bride’s unwed sisters and female cousins will tie kalire to her first choora on each hand.
Choora are special occasion bangles, not to be worn again. They are wider than most bangles, and because they are to be worn as a set they increase in size so the bangles farthest up the bride’s arm do not pinch her skin. Many modern brides will ask that their uncles match their chooras to their wedding outfits.
Traditionally, brides wore chooras for a long time — usually one year, or until their mother-in-law granted them permission to remove the bangles. This practice was a way of noting that the young woman was a newlywed even after her mehndi wore off, though it is less common in this age of engagement rings and wedding bands.
Sabyasachi just dropped his Spring 2017 Udaipur Collection on Insta, and it is P-H-E-N-O-M-E-N-A-L. (Indian people ARE good at spelling!) Here are our takeaways, ideas for adapting this couture style to fit your budget, and some pictures for your viewing pleasure:
Floral is everything.
Delicate floral patterns are peppered throughout this collection. It is spring, after all, and what is more “spring” than flowers? Floral is hot on the Western runways as well, so you can be on-trend at an Indian wedding even if you’re not wearing Indian clothes.
Wedding parties don’t have to match.
Complementary colors look chic, too! We’re entering a period of experimentation on the color wheel. Dress your bridesmaids in red, and your groomsmen in blue. Or pick a rainbow of colors for each, and pair up matching bridesmaids and groomsmen to enter the ceremony together. Pick a vibrant color for your bridesmaids and a muted version of the same color for your groomsmen. Better yet: try a monochromatic look. Color is your friend – play with it!
Punjabi jutti are cool again.
Well, assuming they were ever cool in the first place. But they’re definitely cool now.
Groomsmen can look good, too.
It’s not just about your ‘maids anymore! Dress your groomsmen in fun colors . . . maybe even in floral?
Gift-giving is a common custom in Hindu weddings. The wedding is a celebration, and we give gifts as part of that celebration. Gifts are given to the guests, members of your own family, members of your new in-laws’ family, the priest, and maybe even the vendors. Guests may be small, like wedding favors, or more significant, like saris and jewelry.
Kalichari are an example of one of the gifts you might expect to give or receive at a Hindu wedding. The term “kalichari” commonly refers to gold, silver, or cash given by the groom to his female relatives or to his bride’s female relatives. Small silver rings are a nice gift for younger female relatives, but it is now common to see grooms giving out cash and jewelry as kalichari. Yet another reason we love going to Indian weddings!