In Indian tradition, the bride is prepared for marriage in a few different ceremonies. The Chooda ceremony is an intimate gathering of the bride’s extended family.   It begins with a havan or puja performed by the pandit.  In traditional families the oldest mama and mami will keep fast until the chooda.  The set of 21 cream and red bangles, the chooda, are not shown to the girl until just before the ceremony.  Historically they were made of ivory, however, since it is banned they are now made of plastic. The chooda is then placed onto the brides wrist by her uncle, and everyone at the puja are suppose to touch the chooda in order to offer their good wishes to the bride. Kalira may be tied to the bride’s wrist at this time as well. 


Chooda 1 copy

Chooda 2 landscape copy


Depending on your family this may be the extent of the chooda ceremony, or the chooda ceremony may be preceded by a mauli ceremony.  The Mauli is when a holy sting is tied by the pandit on the bride's wrist, and four lamps are lit.  She is then seated in front of them.  Oil is constantly added to the diyas providing a beautiful glow to the bride's face.  A paste of tumeric powder and mustard oil is applied to her body and then the bride is given a bath in holy water.



Conventionally, an indian bride dresses in her bridal attire, the bridal lenga or sari.Which  per tradition is given by her maternal uncle. US brides often choose to have the chooda ceremony a few days before the wedding.  Newlywed brides will wear their chooda up to their first anniversary. Since that might not go over well with your work clothes, you can keep them in your temple at home.