Glass bangles

I love bangles, glass bangles, to be precise. If you stopped to listen to the breeze in any part of the Indian subcontinent, you would hear the melodious tinkle of glass bangles, worn by women across the country.


               Picture courtesy

In India, glass bangles are traditionally associated with most milestones in a woman’s life – engagement,  wedding and baby showers. After the wedding, most women wear a few glass bangles or at least metal ones everyday, as dictated by their culture and family traditions.

I love glass bangles for their rich colours and vibrant tones. Couple these with an elegant saree…and they look gorgeous.

In the south, many families host a small event called ‘Valaikaapu’ (The Bangle Ceremony), in a pregnant woman’s third trimester. Usually hosted by the girl’s parents, the day is filled with lots of fun, rituals and good food.

For this function, a few hundred glass bangles are bought. Women on both sides of the pregnant woman’s family adorn her with tinkling and beautiful glass bangles on both hands, usually odd-numbered. In addition, one thin gold and silver bangle each are put on each hand.  All women and girls, who attend the event, are gifted a few glass bangles. Usually there’s an assortment of colours to choose from.

The tinkling of the bangles is supposed to stimulate the baby’s senses. The bangles are usually removed, when labour sets in. 

These days, bangles are bought in bulk from shops, however, when I was a kid, a bangle-seller was called home. I still remember how excited we were when the bangle-seller came home with his huge bundle of glass bangles. We watched, as my grandmom and mom chose bangles for my aunt’s Valaikappu, and for all the women and little girls.


                     Picture courtesy     

Last year, there was a wedding in the family, and I stocked up on my glass bangles; colour coordinated with every saree I wore to the various ceremonies.

Simple tinkling accessories, that signify so much and that bring so much joy!


22 thoughts on “Glass bangles”

  1. When I was a kid I use this tinkling to know the area of my mom’s presence 🙂 Her beautiful hands adorned with red bangles 🙂 Now that I am married… I miss it so much 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Beautiful colorful bangles. But anytime I wear them, I end up breaking many of them. Something to do with my careless movements.
    When men behave like women they are told: ‘Are you wearing bangles?’ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very interesting. Bangles were really big in the 80s and now, with the revival of 80s fashion, they are becoming trendy again. I wear them but never think of them for anything beyond aesthetic purposes, but apparently they signify so much more. Most of mine are metal. My stepfather once brought thick glass bangles home for my sister and I and they were beautiful…clear with rainbow colors inside. Unfortunately they both broke almost immediately.

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    1. Hmmm…Lovely memories. Do you get glass ones now where you live? Metal ones don’t break so that’s a plus. You know what we did with broken glass bangles ? We played a game with them. We would break each bangle into 6 small pieces. So if we had 5 players we had 5 different colours of six pieces each. We would all sit around. The objective was to collect one full colour by passing pieces around…similar to a card game…


      1. I don’t see glass bangles around very often if at all. That’s an interesting thing to do with the broken pieces and some consolation for them actually breaking. I was pretty upset when mine did.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Once there was 20 factory’s in my home town for glass bangles, now it’s only one. The trend is disappearing slowly as more women like to wear bracelet and gold plated bangles, still few women’s like to wear and look naturally beautiful. Also green bangles are mostly wore by married women.

    Liked by 1 person

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