Festivals in the Indian culture are not just mere occasions with a spiritual, religious and cultural significance which call for celebrations and merrymaking but a verified and formal excuse to indulge into buying and gifting jewellery specially made from gold or silver. Jewelry sales almost quadruple during the festive season with rural India accounting for 60% of the sales. Here we are going to reflect upon the significance and reasons behind buying jewellery on various Indian festivals.One of the most important festivals which almost accounts for the sale of maximum gold, silver and diamond jewellery products in India is our favourite“Festival of Lights” or Diwali.
Unique reasons behind buying jewellery on specific Indian Festivals
For Diwali, jewellers especially make coins embossed with the Goddess Lakshmi in front and her symbol “Shri” at the back of the coin. Coins are also available with Lord Ganesha embossed and Goddess Saraswati embossed. Another festival popularly known as Dhanteras which is a part of Diwali symbolizes wealth or “dhan” while “tera” refers to the 13th day of the Kartik month when the festival is held. On Dhanteras, Hindus buy new metal utensils as well as gold and silver coins and ornaments as a sign of “dhan” or good luck entering the house.It is believed that doing so pleases Goddess Lakshmi who showers prosperity all year round on the household.Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha statues made in silver are also in demand during this time. Men and women wait all year long to buy that special piece of jewellery they have their hearts set upon to buy on Diwali, coz bringing in jewellery is equivalent to bringing the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi in the house.
Another festival Makar Sankranti takes place when the sun moves into Capricorn, it marks the beginning of the new era. It also marks the onset of the new harvest season and is celebrated with the purchase of new items of clothing and jewellery.Buying gold on the auspicious event of Makar Sankranti is considered to bring happiness and prosperity for the remainder of the year.
Valentine’s Day or the “Day of love”
Due to the influence of western culture, another occasion has become a part of our celebrations popularly known as Valentine’s Day or the “Day of love” which is celebrated on the 14th of February. Young lovers, married couples, friends and unmarried youngsters consider it as the perfect occasion to display their love for that special person buy gifting jewelry made especially for this occasion which includes heart shaped pendants, rings, love bands etc. made in gold, silver, platinum, diamonds, gemstones, or even non-precious metals.
Holi or “the Festival of Colours
Holi or “the Festival of Colours” also called Vasantotsav or Vasantgamanotsav, is celebrated to welcome the Vasant (spring) season, serves as another important festival to include our favourite colours in our lives, the colour and shine of gold and diamonds.
After Holi comes‘Gangaur’where ‘Gana’ is synonymous with Lord Shiva and ‘Gaur’ stands for Parvati. The unmarried women worship Gauri for ideal groom while married women observe Gangaur for the welfare, health, and longevity of their husbands.Women do Solah Shringar, adorn themselves with ornaments and get another good excuse to buy themselves exotic jewellery which represents “suhaag” like bangles, maangtikka, borla, nath, made of gold or toe rings and anklets made of silver. This jewellery can be bought by the women themselves, or gifted to them by their husbands, mother or mother-in-law.
Akshaya Tritiya is another important festival where “Akshaya” means one that ‘never diminishes’ and this particular day is believed to bring good luck and success. This is the only day in any year when the Sun which is the lord of the planets and Moon which is the lord of creativity are in exaltation meaning at their peak of radiance. Hindus believe they can get lasting prosperity by buying precious metals on the day. Akshaya Tritiya is traditionally earmarked for beginning new ventures, for investing and purchasing valuables especially gold, jewelry and diamond. It is no surprise Indians buy gold on Akshaya Tritiya as it is considered very auspicious and a safe investment. It is also believed that any meaningful activity started on this day would be fruitful.
The festival of Teej coincides with the monsoon, and women enjoy the beautiful climate and occasion by swinging on swings decorated with flowers, singing and dancing in the rain. Teej especially Hartalika Teej is celebrated to commemorate the day when Lord Shiva accepted the love of Parvati. On this day women adorn themselves with beautiful clothes, shimmering jewellery from head to toe and eye-catchy make-up just like a new bride. Along with themselves, women also decorate the idols of Maa Parvati in a similar way.Parents-in-law gift their daughter-in-law ‘Shrinjhara’ or ‘Sindhara’which literally means adornment. So, women can get lac, flowers, gota, silver, gold and diamond jewellery as gifts in the Sindhara. Since flowers are in full bloom at this time women especially adorn themselves with jewellery made of real flowers and even gota which has become a popular trend nowadays.
Alongside teej comes Rakshabhandan, the festival that celebrates the beautiful bond between brothers and sisters. Raksha means protection and Bandhan mean bond. On this day, sisters tie a string (Rakhi) on their brother’s wrists to remind them of this bond and to seek protection. In return, Brothers send gifts to their sisters. Nowadays sisters prefer to choose from an exciting variety of rakhis made from silver, gold and diamonds which can be later used by the brother as bracelets, pendants or even bookmarks. And brothers also show their affection by giving gold, silver or diamond jewellery as gifts to their beloved sisters.
Navratri which is a celebration of the Goddess Durga lasts for nine days and ends with Dussehra. It is celebrated by great zeal and vigour by Hindus, especially the Gujarati and Bengali communities. During this time, people are usually seen flocking to buy gold, jewellery and ornaments as it is considered auspicious and is supposed to bring good luck. Apart from buying and wearing precious ornaments, people prefer wearing oxidized metal jewellery which comprises of Necklaces, waistbands, long earrings, chandbalis, borlas, bangles, hairpins, anklets which completes and enhances the traditional attire of Chaniya Choli or Lehenga Choli which women wear while doing garbha. This oxidized jewellery is worn both by men and women.
The holy festival of Karva Chauth is important for married women as they fast for the long lives of their husbands. The word Karva is another word for ‘pot’ (a small earthen pot of water). In some communities, the “Karva” is preferably made from silver. Also as a reward for the love expressed by their wives, the husbands prefer to shower them with their favourite gift – the gift of jewellery.
Buy Jewelry at festivals: Add an extra sparkle to your festivities
Gold is the preferred metal choice of Indians for buying during festivals due to various religious, spiritual and scientific reasons, also it serves as a great form of investment and is a sign of wealth and prosperity. But with changing trends, fashion influences and great marketing campaigns people nowadays also prefer buying diamonds and platinum along with traditional gold. Jewelry is the best form of gift since time immemorial and festivals in India just provide the added push which boosts our indulgences in jewellery, all the more.