Several myths surround it.
It’s an expression of their love….. a hope for life long wedded bliss…… a form of worship and a part of their wedding ceremony.
Its ages old…. and from their religious texts and Holy Scriptures…..
It’s vital that their every married woman take part….
It is believed to be sanctifying…. seals their relationship… enhances her feminine grace….
….divine beauty while activating sexual desire in her.
It holds strong social significance in their culture…
It’s BOLD…. BRIGHT…
…..the color of the planet Mars…
of FIRE… BLOOD…. and signifies strength….
….denotes sensuality…. love and fertility.
It gives a sense of belonging….. and protection.
It’s romantic….breathtaking and only the groom can perform it to make their marriage complete.
Its daily application supports the groom with lifelong protection.
It’s one of the 16 bridal adornments….. and a symbol of sacrifice.
It’s a glorification of womanhood…. and a place that negative energies are prevented from entering in.
It’s a sign of female energy….. that can protect her husband from any disaster or calamity.
It’s applied between the bride’s eyebrows…..and above her forehead…..
Its act is called Sindoordam…..
It’s the practice of a red colored powder that is applied on the maang (the center parting of a bride’s hair) just above her forehead. This red powder is Sindoor…..
and a dot…….a Bindi which is also called Kumkum….
…a round circular spot placed on the center of her forehead and along the eyebrows. The Bindi can be of many colors and can be worn as jewelry.
Its purpose is to convey the meaning that she is no longer single but married…..
….Red is the color of love…. and passion…. and it is with great pride that married Hindu women of India decorate their maang (the center parting of their hair) daily with a line of this red Sindoor to mark her status as a wife…. and bride….. and to win the hearts of their husbands.
Sindoor is also named Vermilion… and Kumkum….
Hindu Indian women of old used to prepare Sindoor at home. But this Vermilion mark of Sindoor is made by mixing a few drops of lime juice or alum into ground turmeric powder and its yellow hue changes to a bright red over time. Camphor may be added as well.
In today’s modern world Sindoor is a cosmetic purchased through a market that caters to this culture.
Then finally the bride is gifted by her groom with a sacred thread…. the Mangalsutra…….another important symbol of marriage which adorns her neck.
It’s a sacred thread of love and goodwill and lifelong commitment.
~~Bengali American Hindu Society, Durga Puja 2015 Los Angeles, California~~