The Significance of Wearing Bangles: A Symbol of Tradition and Sentiment



Bangles, also known as Kangan or Chudi in Hindi, Valayal in Tamil, Gaaju in Telugu, and Bale in Kannada, are an integral part of traditional Indian jewelry. Worn predominantly by women, bangles hold great cultural and religious significance in India. This article explores the profound meaning behind wearing bangles and their connection to Indian traditions.

1. Traditional Importance:

Bangles are traditionally worn in pairs, one or more on each arm, by Indian women. They are often made of gold, glass, or a combination of both. While inexpensive plastic bangles are gaining popularity, glass bangles remain the preferred choice for traditional occasions like weddings and festivals. In Hinduism and Indian tradition, it is considered inauspicious for a woman to have bare arms, emphasizing the importance of wearing bangles.

2. Symbol of Womanhood and Honor:

For married Hindu women, bangles are an essential adornment. While modern-day women may not wear bangles daily, they hold deep sentimental value. Bangles are not merely ornaments; they symbolize womanhood and honor. Married women continue to wear bangles as a sign of safety and luck for their husbands. When a Hindu woman's husband passes away, she breaks her glass wedding bangles as a gesture of mourning.

3. Kada: The Male Equivalent:

A single bangle worn by a man is known as a Kada or Kara. Kada holds religious significance for Sikhs and is usually made of steel, iron, white metal, or gold. It represents spirituality and strength.

4. Bangles and Matrimony:

Bangles are strongly associated with marriage in Indian culture. Girls are allowed to wear bangles, but married women are expected to do so. Similar to the significance of Western wedding rings, bangles signify marital status. Even after marriage, women continue to wear bangles as a symbol of love and protection for their husbands.

5. Bangles and Symbolism:

a) Honeymoon: During Indian weddings, brides strive to wear the smallest glass bangles. Assisted by their best friends or sisters, they use scented oil to wear them. Smaller bangles symbolize a joyous and loving marriage, as well as a blissful honeymoon.

b) Husband and Luck: Married Indian women are required to wear bangles, often green or red based on regional customs, on a daily basis. These bangles symbolize safety, luck, and marital bliss for their husbands. The sudden breaking of glass bangles is considered a sign of potential danger or an unfortunate incident involving the husband.


Bangles are not mere fashion accessories in India; they hold deep cultural, religious, and sentimental significance. They symbolize marital status, womanhood, honor, and serve as charms for safety and luck. Wearing bangles is an integral part of Indian tradition, reflecting the rich heritage and values associated with them. By understanding the profound meaning behind wearing bangles, one can appreciate the depth of Indian customs and traditions.

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