The Mangalsutra, also called Thaali or Mangalasutra, is a sacred Hindu necklace that symbolizes marriage, although
it is also a symbol of love and goodwill.
For those who belong to Western culture, Mangalsutras are the equivalent in Hindu culture to wedding rings,
but in this case, only the woman receives and wears it. Also, like western wedding rings, the Mangalsutra is to be worn by
the married woman throughout her life, but must remain hidden under clothing.
Types of Mangalsutra
The format of the Mangalsutra is highly variable, and depends on the region, the purchasing power of the couple,
and other factors, but it is generally a necklace made of gold beads, and black beads, and a medium-sized pendant,
also made of gold of various shapes and that may or may not be complemented with diamonds or other precious stones.
In some regions, gold and black beads are not used as a necklace and instead a thread impregnated with turmeric is used.
During the ceremony of a Hindu wedding the groom ties the Mangalsutra around the neck of the bride, and after this
moment the priest who performs the wedding recites some Vedic hymns.
The ceremony of the delivery of the Mangalsutra varies slightly between the different regions of India, and for example,
in some areas it is customary to tie three knots, the groom makes the first knot that ties the necklace, and then the
sister or sisters, or parents of the bride tie the following two knots.
Meaning of the Mangalsutras
The word Mangalsutra is composed of two words in Sanskrit, the word mangala, which means sacred and auspicious,
and the word sutra which means thread or necklace, which is why it literally means auspicious or sacred thread.
Regarding the symbolic and religious meaning, during the wedding ceremony it mainly represents the union between
the groom and the bride, and how sacred and permanent this union must be.
In places where three knots are made in the delivery of the necklace during the wedding, the act of tying the necklace
with knots to the neck of the bride very literally represents the union between the couple, and that marriage is sacred
Later, during the marriage, this pendant has an added meaning, because it is believed that the Mangalsutra protects
the couple and their family from all kinds of evils and misfortunes.
IMAGE CREDITS: CC BY SA (Wikipedia + Mangalsutras.com)