The Haldi-Kumkum Guide

What do you call a gathering of women dressed in their best and gathered over a few delicacies and celebrate?
My 9-year-old would label this as mom’s monthly kitty party. But there is something special about this gathering that takes place around Makar Sankranti each year. It is not a regular luncheon but a beautiful traditional celebration of Haldi-Kumkum where women gather and pray for their matrimonial bliss.
The tradition of Haldi-Kumkum dates back to the Peshwas. The manifestations of this tradition have come a long way and it has become more of a reason to party and celebrate. Pulling off a successful Haldi-Kumkum can be a bit of a challenge, so we have put together a quick guide to help you host a successful ceremony.
The preparations:

  1.  Start by cleaning and decorating your house for the big day.
  2.  Plan a lunch or an evening snack depending on the time of your event.
  3.  Make sure you have an unlimited supply of Til Gud ladoos to pass around.
  4.  Put together an interesting gift basket for the women to take back.

The Gift Basket, the holy grail of all returns gifts. A friend of mine once confessed that she only attends the numerous Haldi-Kumkum ceremonies, just for the beautiful return gifts. There are a few essentials that makeup a quintessential Haldi-Kumkum hamper. 
The Gift basket

  1.  A sari blouse piece, a stole or a handkerchief.
  2.  A fruit
  3.  A red rose
  4.  A coconut
  5.  A small gift that could comprise of a piece of shringar or an item of personal use.

Silver Emporium has a wide range of small and budget-friendly gifts that can be a part of your gift basket. Things like silver coins and barsilver rose or tiny silver enameled boxes make up for a great addition to the hamper. 
The Ceremony:Welcome the guests by sprinkling some Gulab Jal or rose water as they enter the house. Once seated apply ittar on their wrists and then apply a tika of haldi and kumkum on their forehead. They in return apply the same on the host’s forehead as well. This exchange turmeric and vermilion signifies prayers and blessings made for long and happy married life for each other. 
In this fast-paced life, traditions such as this one give us reason to get together and celebrate. Haldi Kumkum is all about women bonding over love, laughter, good food and gifts, what more could a woman ask for?
Get in touch with Silver Emporium for all your gifting and festive needs.
Happy Makar Sankranti!