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A Choora is a set of bangles that are usually red and white, sometimes the red bangles are replaced with another color, but they are usually only two colors. Traditionally made of ivory, with inlay work, though now made with plastic they are worn by a bride on her wedding day, especially during Punjabi weddings. It is a favoured tradition in Punjabi family. It is primarily a Punjabi tradition along with Sindhoor and mangalsutra. Chooriyan (plural) may contain different coloured bangles in various combinations, but the most common combination is red and white. The choora is worn by the bride for 1 year from the day she puts it on and on the 1st anniversary only her inlaws can remove it for her. She can wear other choora after that for as long as she likes in any colour.
The choora ceremony is held on the morning of the wedding or the day before. The bride's maternal uncle and aunt give her a set of choorae (21 bangles in red and white ivory). Nowadays, the bride often wears 7 or 9 bangles. According to tradition, the bride should ideally wear the choora for at least a year. It is now normal for the bride to wear her choora for a month and a quarter (40 days). The bangles range in size according to the circumference of the top of the forearm and the wrist end so that the set fits neatly.
As the choora is made of fragile materials, Punjabi custom has it that the bride may refrain from heavy housework in her marital home to keep it intact for the 40 days, as a kind of honeymoon. After that, in traditional homes at least, she takes over the lion's share of domestic work from her mother-in-law..
Traditionally, the bride would wear a chura for a full year. When the color started to fade, her in-laws would actually have it re-colored, so everyone knows she was a newly wed (less than a year of marriage). On an auspicious Punjabi holiday, usually sangrand, after the 1st anniversary her in-laws would hold a small intimate ceremony in which the chura was removed and glass churiyan (bangles) were placed on both hands. This usually was accompanied with mithai (Indian sweets) and a monetary shagun. The chura then was taken to a river and a prayer was said and it left to float onto the water.
Also note, if a newly wed bride became pregnant before her first anniversary, the chura was taken off.
Modern day brides usually wear the chura for 40 days, since it difficult to return to work after the wedding with it on.
- Amiteshwar Ratra; Praveen Kaur; Sudha Chhikara (1 January 2006). Marriage And Family : In Diverse And Changing Scenario. Deep & Deep Publications. pp. 500–. ISBN 978-81-7629-758-5.