Bengali Dresses and Jwellery – Traditional, daily wear to wedding
Traditional & Daily Wear Dresses
Bengali festival dresses
On festive and religious ceremony, Bengalis are clad in their traditional costumes. During celebration, Bengali men wear traditional cotton or silk “dhoti” and North Indian style kurta.
Bengali women wear fine silk or cotton sari designed according to the importance of the occasion. The fabric of the Bengali cotton sari is unique with premium quality produced by local weavers known as “tantis”. They are expert weaving fine quality fabric with refined thread work. Bengali silk sari is famous for its rich, sophisticated and elegant quality and texture. Cotton saris as Jamdani and Baluchari and silk saris are most preferred wearing in festive and religious occasions.
The typical Bengali style of draping a sari is altogether different where the sari is not pleated but the “Pallu” is kept loose over left shoulder with a bunch of keys tied with the knot.
Bengali Wedding Dresses
Wedding is the most important occasion of life, which involves lot of joy and sentiments when the bride leaves back lot of memories of her maternal house and step into a new family to begin the second phase of her life with her life partner. It is the reason for both the families to celebrate the union of the couple with great pomp and show.
Bengali groom is neatly dressed in crème colored silk dhoti and Kurta with a gorgeous turban that covers his head gives him a royal look.
The Bengali Hindu bride is very specially treated on the D-day with care, affection and lots of love. The true essence of Bengali wedding is found in bride who looks extremely awesome in a traditional silk sari. The Bengali bride is dressed in red or crimson colored rich golden embroidered Banarasi silk saree complimented with traditional Bengali jewelry. The head is covered with red colored beautiful veil or “mukut”, forehead adorned with attractive patterned red Bindis increasing the beauty and charm of the girl. Red color is considered auspicious. However, today’s modern bride prefers to wear pink or maroon color sari. The modern fashion designers play important role coming up with new variations in red color sari to give more traditional and contemporary look.
Both Hindu Bengali bride and groom wear white floral garlands, which were exchanged at the time of “Mala Badal”ritual that accompany with a whole recital of Vedic mantras. It is difficult to say whether the Bengali wedding couple or the ceremony which one is more gorgeous and elegant.
Indians have a unique system for searching for life partner for marriage. In last decade or so young Bengali brides and Bengali grooms have started to rely on Internet for finding their life partner. There are many sites that provide matrimonial services. If you want to see what I am talking about you can see one such site called Vivaah.com (which means Marriage in the language Hindi).
Special Accessories & Jewelry
Ivory jewelry and accessories are gifted to Bengali bride at the time of the wedding. Traditionally, ivory is referred to hard, cream or white colored tusks of animals like elephant, whale, hippopotamus, boar etc. It is very soft material required expert artisans and craftsmen to design and carve ivory jewelry. The softness and skills required to carve designs into ivory results into very costly jewelry. Bangles and pendant are most famous ivory jewelry worn by traditional married Bengali women.
The rose water sprinkled brooches, pendants, hair pins, hair clasps, nose ring, armlets and necklace forms the traditional Bengali jewelry. These ornaments are lighter in weight, which requires lot of intricate work to design by the skillful artisans.
“Tikli”, “Kaan”, “Chik/Choker “, “Chooris/bangals/Chur”, “Ratanchur”, “Mantasha” are the traditional ornaments that are worn by the Bengali Hindu bride and married women on special occasions. “Hansuli”, “Baju”, “Taabiz” and “Taaga” are traditional ornament, which is worn especially by Muslim Bengali women.
“Tikli” is forehead ornament worn in the center part of the hair. It is laced with a string of pearls and studded with precious stone, gold or silver design. “Kaan” is ear shaped earring made from thin gold or silver sheets embedded with precious stones. “Chik/Choker” is an inch wide necklace studded with diamonds and stones. The necklace with five or seven strands of studded stones is known as “Sapta Lahiri” or “Pancha”. “Chooris” or bangles are typically crafted in gold and silver. Bengali married women wear a pair of 3 bangles, one made from conch shells, the second made from iron and the third made from thick gold or silver known as “kankan”. Kankan is considered auspicious as it forms makara pair or mythical crocodile heads at the end point. “Chur” is a gold bracelet traced with older paintings and sculpture. “Mantasha” is an elegant bangle studded with stones and pure pearls. “Ratanchur” is gold and silver ornament with its origin from Mughal Empire. It is five rings ornaments worn each ring in each finger and one on the thumb connected with five chains attached with ring and an armlet. The point where armlet is connected with five chains is decorated with designs like moon, sun, lotus etc. Bengali wear special designed “payal” with toe rings connected with plain or designed chains on their anklets with small hanging bells.
A married woman holds lots of respect and social status in Bengali culture. The elegance and sophistication are merely reflected in the traditional attire of Bengali women, no matter may it be costume or jewellery.