White clothing (religious)

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Parsi Navjote ceremony (rites of admission into the Zoroastrian faith)

White clothing has significance in many religious faith traditions. Some of these traditions include:

  • Islam: Islam encourages men to wear white clothes for it if known as the purest of colours.Muslim men wear white especially on Fridays. It is preferred for Muslim men to wear a white ihraam (special garments for Hajj), which consists of an izaar (lower garment) and a rida’ (upper garment) when going to the pilgrimage to Makkah. This is symbolic to the fact that everybody will die and the fact that it portrays simplicity. White is the preferred colour for the shrouds of the dead in Islam. Prophet Muhammad has been reported to have said:

'Wear your white clothes, for they are the best of your clothes, and shroud your dead in them.' (Reported by Abu Dawood and al-Tirmidhi). Angels in human form are described as wearing white clothes.

  • Christianity: Christian baptismal garments are traditionally white. Some churches also adopt white clothing for certain members of their clergy or religious; best known is the white clothing of the pope.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: LDS members attach particular significance to white clothing. The officiant and the proselyte at a Mormon baptism are both dressed entirely in white. It is traditional, though not required, to dress babies and small children in white when they are blessed. In recent years, it has become common for men who bless or pass the sacramental tokens to wear ties and white shirts. Additionally, temple workers and temple patrons dress in white attire to work in the temple or participate in temple ordinances.
  • Judaism: The ceremonial Kittel, worn on religious holidays, is white to symbolize purity. The tallit katan is likewise white in color, as, on high holidays, is the gartel (belt, girdle, or sash).
  • Hindu: Widows are expected to dress in white clothing to signify their status. (See Mourning (Hindu).)
  • Buddhism: In many Asian cultures, white clothing is worn as a sign of mourning. It is the traditional color of funeral garb. In Sri Lanka, lay Buddhists wear white clothing during ceremonies and auspicious times. In Thailand, dedicated lay devotees who take on 8 precepts (called Upāsakas / Upāsikās) wear white.
  • Sikhism: Kundalini yogis, as taught by Sikhi master Yogi Bhajan, wear all white and cover their heads to expand their auras and practice mindfulness.
  • Zoroastrianism: Priests of the faith dress in white robes and caps.
  • Mandean: Adherents dress in the Rasta, a required white garment worn during baptisms and other ordinances.
  • Santería: Initiates in Santería are required to wear white clothing for a year, white clothing is also standard attire for attending Santería religious services.
  • Voodoo Entire white clothing is considered a default attire for lay worshippers attending Voodoo ceremonies as a sign of purity and modesty. White attire is also worn during initiation and ordination ceremonies. White is considered sacred to the Voodoo spirits of Dahomean origin and is sometimes worn by Voodoo adherents on days sacred to Dahomean spirits.
  • Wicca: Ritual robes are often made from white cloth, with little or no decoration, according to the customs of certain traditions. White represents holiness and purity.

See also[edit]

Maro deives