Indian weddings are a riot of colours. Hues of reds, yellows and greens make a splash, creating a perfect ambience for an event as vibrant as one’s wedding. But do we know why an Indian bride wears a red lehenga? Have we ever wondered why is yellow the customary colour to be worn during the haldi ceremony? Each colour, be it red, yellow or green, has a distinct significance attached to it. explains it all.

Significance of red
An Indian wedding without the colour red is hard to imagine. Red lehenga, red sindoor, red bangles, red bindi… the list is unending. The colour red is associated with Durga, one of the most revered Hindu goddesses, symbolic of power, strength and valour. Thus, a bride adorned in red embodies all the qualities. Astrologically, the colour of Mars is red. Thus, putting the red sindoor on the forehead and parting of the hair signifies good fortune and prosperity. The colour red is also associated with fertile clay, thus signifying fertility and fecundity for the new bride. How can Indian weddings be complete without its spiciness? Chillies, an integral spice for Indian ethos, are known for their feistiness. Thus, the red colour also symbolizes sensuousness and passion, marking a prosperous conjugal life for the newlyweds.

Red bridal lehengas by Jyotsna Tiwari

Application of red sindoor; Photography: Yogi Patel of Global Photography

Significance of yellow
The colour yellow has auspicious connotations in the Hindu belief system. Signifying prosperity and opulence, the yellow colour offers to usher in the same spirit into the newlyweds’ lives. Hence, gold jewellery forms an essential part of every bridal trousseau in India. The haldi ceremony, which is an important pre-wedding ritual, uses turmeric. Turmeric paste acts as a natural scrub and exfoliation agent for beautifying the bride and groom before the wedding. The energy emanating from the yellowness of the turmeric infuses a glow like no other, offering sanctity to the wedding ceremony.

Bridal gold jewellery; Photographs by: Gitanjali, Tanishq and PC Chandra

Yellow haldi in Indian wedding; Photography: Sanjay Austa

Significance of green
Another significant colour in Indian weddings is green. The colour green signifies a new beginning, a new birth. Marriage is akin to a new birth in the lives of all individuals. Thus, in many Indian communities, brides wear a green saree and green bangles. The colour green also denotes fertility, nature’s bountiful basket. Hence, brides decorate their hands with mehendi which is green in colour, implying a prosperous future for the upcoming marital life. Indian weddings also involve the use of innumerable leaves, grass and plants, each lending to the underlying significance of the colour green. 

Mehendi ceremony in Indian wedding; Photography: Achin Grover

Significance of green; Photography: Atul Pratap Chauhan