Solah Sringaar is the process of complete makeover of a bride in a Hindu wedding. The word ‘solah’ means 16, indicating the number of elements that are required for the ‘sringaar’ (makeup).
The most important element is the wedding dress, without which the makeover is not complete. Saree is the usual choice in most regions, usually colored in red, green and sometimes blue. These colors are considered auspicious in Hindu culture. However in some regions white colored saree is preferred.
Next comes the ‘Kaajal,’ which is a black substance applied in the inner linings of the eyelids. Apart from its usual function of beautifying the eyes, it also protects the bride from the ill-effects of an evil eye because of the black color.
‘Mehndi,’ is an herbal paste applied in a decorative manner on the bride’s hands and feet. This decoration is done by the bride’s friends and relatives during a special ritual before the marriage.
Special stress is given on the hairstyle of the bride, selected according to her attire. Other important element is the ‘sindoor’ which is a vermillion colored powder applied on the partition of the hair above the forehead. Its presence indicates the marital status of a woman. Equally important is the ‘bindi’ (a red mark applied on the forehead).
Rest of the makeup is completed by the bridal ornaments namely the ‘haar’ (necklace), ‘teeka’ (a ornament worn on the middle partition of the hair above the forehead), ‘nath’ (a nose ring), ‘kahn phool’ (earring), ‘bazubandh’ (armlet worn on the upper arm), ‘arsi’ (ring worn on the thumb), ‘churha’ (set of dozen plastic bangles), ‘kamar-bandh’ (band or chain worn around the waist), ‘payal’ (chain worn around the ankles, usually made of silver) and ’bichua’ (toe-ring).