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Haldi Ceremony: What Guests Should Expect

What is the Haldi Ceremony?

The haldi ceremony is an important pre-wedding event in Indian culture, and it signifies the beginning of the wedding celebrations. Generally speaking, it happens a few days before the wedding. The ceremony involves applying a turmeric paste, mixed with other natural ingredients, to the skin of the bride and groom. The paste is believed to have several benefits for the skin, such as cleansing, brightening, and softening. Some also find the haldi paste to be considered auspicious and is believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits.


Haldi Ceremony
Guests smearing haldi on the bride

The haldi ceremony usually takes place a day or two before the wedding, and it is organized separately for the bride and groom. The venue of the ceremony is decorated with flowers, lights, and colorful fabrics to create a festive atmosphere. The ceremony is conducted by the family and close friends of the bride and groom, who apply the haldi paste to the couple’s face, neck, arms, and feet. The application of the haldi paste is done with much fanfare, singing, and dancing, making it a joyous and lively event.

In addition to turmeric, other natural ingredients such as sandalwood paste, rose water, and milk are added to the haldi mixture to create a fragrant and soothing paste. The paste is then applied to the bride and groom’s skin using a brush, cotton balls, or even bare hands. The application of the paste is done in intricate designs, which vary from region to region in India.

Haldi Paste
Haldi Paste
Haldi Ceremony

The haldi ceremony is not just a beauty treatment but also a way to bless the couple before their wedding day. The ceremony is considered an auspicious ritual that brings good luck and happiness to the couple. In some regions of India, the haldi paste is also applied to the family members and close friends of the bride and groom as a symbol of their involvement and support in the couple’s new journey.

What to Wear

When attending a haldi ceremony, it is essential to dress appropriately. Traditional Indian clothing, such as sarees, salwar kameez, or lehengas for women, and kurta pajamas or sherwanis for men, are appropriate for the occasion. Bright and festive colors such as yellow, orange, or red should be chosen to match the theme of the ceremony. The venue of the ceremony should also be considered when selecting attire. Lightweight fabrics such as cotton or linen are suitable for outdoor ceremonies, while silk or other heavier fabrics can be chosen for indoor events.

Accessories are an important aspect of completing the outfit. Women can wear traditional Indian jewelry such as bangles, earrings, and necklaces to enhance the look. Men can wear a traditional turban or a dupatta to add to their outfit. It is customary to remove shoes inside the venue to avoid staining them with the haldi paste. Traditional Indian footwear such as mojris or juttis can be worn instead.

Salwar with Dupatta
A Lady Wearing a Salwar with a Dupatta (shawl)


In conclusion, the haldi ceremony is an essential part of Indian wedding celebrations. It is a joyous occasion where families and friends come together to bless and celebrate the upcoming nuptials of the bride and groom. The ceremony is not only a beauty treatment but also a way to symbolize the involvement and support of family and friends in the couple’s new journey. Selecting the right attire and accessorizing appropriately can enhance the overall experience of attending this event

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