What Do Bangles Symbolize? Discover the Hidden Meanings Behind These Popular Accessories

Bangles are beautiful and timeless pieces of jewelry that have been worn by women for centuries. These circular bracelets come in various materials, designs, and sizes, but what unites them all is the message they send to the world. Bangles are not merely accessories that add to the overall look of an outfit, but they also carry deep cultural and emotional significance for many women.

In different cultures, bangles are associated with various meanings and symbolisms. For instance, in Indian culture, bangles are considered a symbol of matrimony and womanhood. Married women in India often wear red and green bangles to signify their married status, while young girls opt for simple glass bangles. Meanwhile, in Middle Eastern culture, bangles are worn by women to ward off evil spirits. They are also an indication of wealth and prosperity and are often given as gifts for special occasions.

Bangles have also caught the attention of designers and artists, who have given them a modern twist while still preserving their traditional meanings. For instance, some contemporary bangle designs are infused with inspirational quotes or motivational messages. Others feature bold and colorful patterns that represent pride in cultural heritage or personal identity. Ultimately, bangles are not just lovely pieces of jewelry, but they also represent something meaningful, making them a powerful adornment that adds a special touch to any outfit.

History of Bangles

Bangles are traditional ornaments worn by women in many parts of the world, including South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The history of bangles dates back to ancient times, with evidence of bangles being worn by women in the Indus Valley Civilization, which existed around 2600–1900 BCE. These bangles were made of terracotta, copper, and other materials and symbolized the social status of the wearer.

Over time, bangles became popular across many cultures and were made using a variety of materials such as gold, silver, glass, and precious stones. In some cultures, bangles were also used as a form of currency and given as dowry during weddings.

Here are some interesting facts about the history of bangles:

  • The word “bangle” is derived from the Hindi word “bungri,” which means glass.
  • The oldest known Indian bangles were discovered in Taxila, Pakistan, which dates back to 2,600 BC.
  • Bangles were also worn by men in ancient times, with evidence of men wearing bangles found in sculptures and paintings from Ancient Rome and Greece.
  • Bangles were widely used as currency in ancient India, with specific types of bangles known as “tanka” and “manikya” used as a standard unit of payment.

Cultural significance of bangles in India

Bangles have been an integral part of Indian culture and tradition for centuries. The significance of bangles in India has its roots in ancient mythology, where they were believed to have protective properties. Today, bangles are not only an essential fashion accessory but also carry a strong cultural and emotional value. Let us delve deeper into the cultural significance of bangles in India.

What do bangles symbolize?

  • Marital status: Bangles hold great significance in a woman’s life, especially when it comes to her marital status. In India, married women are expected to wear bangles as a symbol of their union with their husband. The color and design of the bangles also vary based on the region and community. For example, red bangles symbolize a married woman in northern India, while green signifies the same in southern India.
  • Auspiciousness: Bangles are considered to be an auspicious accessory in Hindu culture. They are believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. In many Hindu ceremonies, bangles are an essential part of the bride’s attire. They are also given to family and friends as a token of good luck and blessings.
  • Expression of love and affection: Just like any other piece of jewelry, bangles are also used to express love and affection. It is common for husbands to gift bangles to their wives on special occasions like weddings and anniversaries. Mothers also gift bangles to their daughters as a symbol of their love and blessings.

Types of bangles

Bangles come in various types, shapes, and sizes. Here are some of the popular types of bangles:

  • Gold bangles: Gold bangles are the most popular type of bangle in India. They are worn on special occasions and are considered to be a symbol of wealth and status.
  • Glass bangles: Glass bangles come in various colors and designs and are worn daily by women of all ages. They are affordable, lightweight, and easy to maintain.
  • Stone bangles: Stone bangles are adorned with precious and semi-precious stones like diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. They are perfect for special occasions and weddings.

Bangle etiquette

Bangles hold great cultural and emotional value, and there are certain bangle etiquettes that one should follow:

Wearing bangles on both wristsIn Indian culture, it is common for women to wear bangles on both wrists as a symbol of their union with their husband.
Bangles on the right handUnmarried women and young girls wear bangles only on their right hand.
Don’t remove bangles in publicIt is considered disrespectful to remove bangles in public.

Overall, bangles hold immense cultural and emotional significance in India. They are not just a fashion accessory, but a symbol of love, marriage, good luck, and auspiciousness.

Social status symbol of bangles

Bangles have been a part of Indian culture for centuries and are considered to be one of the most important accessories for women. These beautiful pieces of jewellery not only enhance the beauty of a woman but also carry great religious and cultural significance. One of the most interesting aspects of bangles is the social status they symbolize.

  • Gold bangles: Gold bangles have always been the symbol of wealth and prosperity. In Indian culture, they are considered to be the most valuable and prestigious among all types of bangles. Women with big, thick and multiple gold bangles are considered to be the wealthiest and most influential.
  • Diamond bangles: Diamond bangles are considered to be an ultimate form of luxury and elegance. They are often associated with high class and sophistication. Women who wear diamond bangles are perceived to have a rich taste in jewellery.
  • Glass bangles: Glass bangles, on the other hand, are more affordable and are worn by women of all social classes. However, the number of glass bangles a woman wears symbolizes her marital status and prosperity. In most regions of India, a newly married woman is expected to wear a minimum of 16 glass bangles on each wrist.

Aside from the material of the bangles, the number of bangles a woman wears is also significant in Indian culture. The tradition of wearing multiple bangles is believed to bring good luck and prosperity to a woman’s life. The number three is considered to be auspicious and therefore, many women prefer wearing bangles in sets of three.

Number of BanglesSymbolic Representation
1-2Unmarried status
3-4Married status
7Symbolizes good fortune
21Symbolizes blessings and prosperity

Overall, bangles have always been a significant aspect of Indian culture and have served various purposes over time. Today, they are not only worn as colourful and beautiful accessories but also as a symbol of social status and prosperity.

Symbolism of Different Colors of Bangles

Bangles have been a part of Indian culture for centuries, and each color holds a unique symbolism. Let’s dive into the meanings behind the various colors of bangles.

Number 4: Green Bangles

Green bangles are associated with prosperity and abundance. They represent new beginnings and growth. The color green is also closely associated with nature and fertility, so green bangles often symbolize fertility and the start of a new family.

  • In Hindu traditions, green bangles are often worn by married women to signify fertility and marital bliss.
  • Green bangles are also believed to bring good luck and wealth.
  • Wearing green bangles is also said to bring balance and harmony to the wearer’s life.
GreenProsperity, new beginnings, fertility, and growth

Whether it’s a delicate green bangle or a set of chunky ones, wearing green bangles can bring a sense of groundedness and stability to your life, and pave the way for new opportunities and abundance.

Religious significance of bangles

Bangles have been worn by women in India for centuries and hold a great deal of religious significance in Hindu culture. They are known as “kangan” in Hindi and are thought to bring good luck and ward off evil. Bangles are often made of gold, silver, glass, or plastic and can be decorated with stones, pearls, and other embellishments.

  • Number 5: The number of bangles worn on a woman’s wrist can hold different meanings based on the region and tradition. In some parts of India, women wear an odd number of bangles, typically three, five, or seven. In particular, the number five holds great significance in Hinduism and is associated with the five elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether.
  • Symbolic representation: The five bangles can represent the five senses, five organs of action, and five elements of the body. It is believed that wearing five bangles can balance and harmonize these elements in a woman’s body, promoting good health and well-being.
  • Rituals: In some Hindu traditions, women wear five green bangles on their left hand during the festival of Teej. This symbolizes the union of the woman with her husband and is said to bring good fortune to their relationship. Similarly, during the festival of Karwa Chauth, women wear five bangles of different colors, representing the elements of nature, as part of the traditional fasting ritual.

Overall, the number 5 holds great significance in the religious context of bangles and their symbolism in Hindu culture. Whether worn for aesthetic or spiritual reasons, bangles are an integral part of a woman’s wardrobe in India and continue to be cherished and celebrated in various rituals and traditions.

Materials used to make bangles and their meanings

Bangles are one of the most popular and wearable types of jewelry around the world. They come in various colors, shapes, styles, and materials which make them even more attractive and versatile. However, what people don’t know is that the materials used to make bangles actually hold meaning and significance that reflect different cultures and beliefs. Here are some of the most common materials used for bangles and what they symbolize:

Number 6

The number 6 is considered a lucky number in many cultures. It represents balance, harmony, and stability. In Hinduism, the number 6 is associated with the goddess Saraswati, who is believed to have six qualities – wisdom, intelligence, creativity, knowledge, art, and learning. Six bangles worn together are said to bring these qualities to the wearer.

In Chinese culture, the number 6 is associated with wealth and fortune. It is believed that wearing six bangles made of gold or jade will bring good luck and prosperity.

Overall, the number 6 is a popular choice for bangles as it holds positive connotations and can be worn for a variety of occasions.

Different styles and designs of bangles and their meanings

Bangles are an essential part of Indian culture, and their significance dates back to ancient times. Bangles come in various styles and designs, each having a unique meaning. In this article, we will explore the symbolism behind different types of bangles.

The Number 7

The number 7 holds great importance in several cultures and religious traditions. It is considered a sacred number in Hinduism and is associated with spiritual awakening, self-discovery, and completeness. In the context of bangles, seven bangles worn together represent these spiritual connotations. The set of seven bangles is referred to as “saat-pheras” and is a part of the wedding ceremony in Hindu culture. The bride wears seven bangles on each wrist, symbolizing the seven promises that the couple makes to each other during the sacred ceremony.

  • Seven bangles also signify the seven chakras (energy centers) in the body
  • The seven bangles could also represent the seven days of the week in some cultures
  • Seven metal bangles are also a common offering at temples as a symbol of devotion
Bangle MaterialMeaning
SilverRepresents strength and purity
GoldSymbolizes prosperity, success, and wealth
GlassRepresents energy, passion, and vivacity
WoodenSymbolizes nature, simplicity, and grounding energy
LacRepresents tradition, culture, and purity of heart
PlasticSymbolizes modernity and vibrancy

The Significance of Different Materials in Bangles

The material of the bangle also holds significant importance. Different materials used in bangles have various meanings and connotations. Here are some commonly used materials in bangles and their meanings:

The designs imprinted on bangles, such as floral patterns or intricate shapes, can also hold significance depending on the culture and tradition they represent. It is not uncommon to see bangles adorned with precious stones like diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, which only add to their symbolic value.

Different occasions where bangles are worn and their meaning

Bangles are much more than just beautiful ornaments. They hold significant meaning in different cultures and are worn on various occasions to symbolize a range of things. One of the most important aspects of bangles is the number of bangles worn that can be indicative of different things. In this article, we will explore the meaning of bangles and their symbolism by the number of bangles, focusing especially on the number eight.

The number 8 holds immense cultural significance in many parts of the world. It represents infinity, unity, and abundance. As such, wearing eight bangles is symbolic of many things. Below are some of the most common meanings of wearing eight bangles in different cultures:

  • Indian culture: In Hinduism, eight is believed to be a powerful number symbolizing the eight goddesses known as Ashtalakshmi. Wearing eight bangles is considered auspicious and believed to bring luck, wealth, and prosperity.
  • Chinese culture: The number eight in Chinese culture is considered lucky as the word for eight sounds like the word for “wealth.” Eight bangles are often worn on important occasions such as weddings and other festive events, symbolizing luck and wealth.
  • African culture: In many African cultures, eight bangles are worn as a symbol of strength and unity. The number eight represents the eight phases of the moon in some African cultures.

Wearing eight bangles can also be thought of as a way of balancing the chakras or energy centers in the body, as there are said to be eight chakras that run from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Wearing eight bangles can help align these chakras and maintain balance within the body.

CultureMeaning of wearing 8 bangles
HinduismLuck, wealth, and prosperity
Chinese cultureLuck and wealth
African cultureStrength and unity

In conclusion, bangles are worn on different occasions in various cultures, and each number of bangles carries a different meaning. Wearing eight bangles holds great significance in many cultures, symbolizing unity, abundance, and prosperity. Whether you wear bangles for their beauty or their deeper meaning, they remain an important and timeless piece of jewelry.

Evolution of Bangles in Fashion

Bangles are one of the oldest forms of jewelry worn by women in India. They are available in various materials ranging from glass, metal, wood, and plastic. Bangles signify womanhood, marriage, traditions, and much more. Bangles have been a significant accessory in fashion since ancient times and have seen a massive evolution in the last few years.

  • Stone Bangles: Stone bangles are one of the oldest styles ever used in bangles. They have a colorful and vibrant appearance. Stones were initially used in the production of religious jewelry. But now, they can be worn on different occasions by women who love to accessorize.
  • Metal Bangles: Metal bangles have always been a popular choice. In earlier days, gold and silver bangles were preferred, but now metal bangles are made with other metals like copper, brass, and stainless steel. Metal bangles with beads, crystals, and embellishments are also available to cater to the needs of modern women.
  • Glass Bangles: Glass bangles make for a perfect accessory in ethnic wear. They come in different colors and studded with stones and pearls. Glass bangles are often worn in stacks, making them a perfect choice for those who love the jingling sound that bangles make.

Bangles are often worn in sets of odd numbers, with the number 9 being the most auspicious. The significance of the number 9 is rooted in religious beliefs and the nine planets. According to ancient Hindu astrology, the nine planets correspond to nine gemstones, and wearing bangles made of these nine stones can attract positive energy and good luck.

The table below shows the nine gemstones associated with each planet.

MarsRed Coral
JupiterYellow Sapphire
SaturnBlue Sapphire
KetuCat’s Eye

Bangles have come a long way, evolving over time. They are now available in different materials, designs, and colors, making them versatile and perfect for different occasions and outfits. Bangles have a significant role to play in the lives of Indian women and are a symbol of traditions and womanhood.

Celebrities wearing bangles and their influence on fashion trends

Bangles have always been a staple accessory for women, and celebrities have played a significant role in popularizing them. From traditional gold bangles to contemporary designs, here are some celebrities who have sported bangles in their style statements, contributing to current fashion trends.

  • Kareena Kapoor Khan: This Bollywood diva is known for her love of traditional Indian jewelry. She regularly flaunts gold bangles on both wrists, and has been spotted wearing kadas and churis as well. Her style has been emulated by countless women, making gold bangles a must-have accessory.
  • Kate Middleton: The Duchess of Cambridge is known for her elegant and timeless style. She has been spotted wearing thin, delicate bangles with her classy outfits. Kate often opts for silver bangles, adding a touch of sophistication to her wardrobe.
  • Rihanna: The pop icon is renowned for her experimental fashion sense. She has been seen sporting chunky, statement-making bangles in her music videos and on the red carpet. Rihanna’s bold style has influenced the fashion world, inspiring many women to add more edgy pieces to their jewelry collection.

Celebrities have undoubtedly influenced the popularity of bangles in recent years. In fact, fashion designers have taken note and incorporated designs similar to those sported by celebrities in their collections. From stacking bangles to wearing just one, this versatile piece of jewelry continues to be a timeless and fashionable accessory.

What Do Bangles Symbolize? Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are bangles only worn by women?

Traditionally, bangles are worn more commonly by women, but in some cultures, men also wear bangles as a symbol of their beliefs.

2. What do bangles symbolize in Indian culture?

In Indian culture, bangles are worn as a symbol of good fortune, love, and prosperity. They are also believed to possess healing properties.

3. What do black bangles symbolize?

In some cultures, black bangles are worn as a symbol of mourning and are associated with death and funeral rites.

4. What do gold bangles symbolize?

Gold bangles are often associated with luxury and wealth. In some cultures, gold bangles are worn as a symbol of marital bliss and good luck.

5. What do silver bangles symbolize?

In many cultures, silver bangles are believed to possess healing properties and are worn as a symbol of protection against negative energies.

6. What do multiple bangles worn together symbolize?

When multiple bangles are worn together, they are often seen as a symbol of family unity and strength.

7. What do charm bangles symbolize?

Charm bangles are often worn as a symbol of personal beliefs, values, and memories. Each charm may represent a different aspect of the wearer’s life.

A Personal Touch for the Reader

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