Bangles have been found at many archaeological sites with the oldest ones dating back to 2000 B.C., which were made of copper, bronze and shell that had ornate carvings and motifs over them. The traditions around the entire country of India demand women, especially the married ones, to always wear bangles on their hands. Traditional bangles of all the regions vary in style, design and the material with which they are made. In some tribes of India, kadas are worn by women rather than just the simple bangles. If looked at the symbolism aspect of kangans, these stand for the married life of a woman, her dedication towards marriage and family life and also stand for prosperity. This is the reason a mother-in-law gifts a pair of kangans or kadas to her daughter-in-law.
Just as mentioned above, each demographic has its own speciality in the way kangans are worn by women. Here are some examples; in Bengal, married women wear shakha pola, which are made of the conch shell, in South, women wear more of gold bangles, in Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan, married females wear chooda, to be gifted by the maternal uncle of the bride. In Maharashtra, women wear green glass bangles that are paired with some gold bangles, which look beautiful and very authentically traditional.
Why science backs the tradition of wearing kangans?
The wrist is a point on a human body which has a constant flow of energy. There are many acupressure points around the wrist and hands that benefit the health of a person in many ways. It is one of the most used parts of a human body which indicates the heart's blood flow and the pulse. When women wear bangles or kadas, the blood flow is constantly stimulated. As per the ancient beliefs, women would do their household chores wearing bangles which kept their body temperature under control but at the same time, energised.
Reasons why Bangles are a rockstar in their own way-
- An integral part of the Solah Shringar for newly married women or any married woman, bangles in a way as if complete the whole process of getting ready for the big event like a wedding.
- Traditionally trendy, bangles can be easily paired with ethnic as well as western outfits.
- The sweet sounds created by the bangles is like music to the ears of the husband and the others in the family. There's something very sweet about the bangles.
- Different colours of the bangles signify different things, such as red stands for positive energy and prosperity, white for fertility and good luck, yellow for new beginnings, gold for fortune and wealth. Blue and purple symbolise power and individuality. Green bangles stand for marriage and togetherness as well as luck. Women these days like to pair their diamond bangles with other bangles embellished with coloured gemstones.
The biggest producer of bangles in India is, Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh. Hyderabad has a market named Lal Bazaar where one can find historical bangles and designs at the display.