Rajasthani turbans also known as pagdi or safas are an essential part of the special occasions such as weddings in India. They are made from a single colourful strip of cloth and are usually worn by men at north Indian weddings. The length of the safa varies from 5 to 8 meters depending on the style of tying. Worn as a tradition at Indian weddings, it forms the most important accessory for the groom on the wedding day.
Rajasthani Wedding Safa
There are thousands of styles to tie a safa and the style varies depending on the region where the family originates from. Back in time, the colour, shape and size of the saafa used to reflect the societal status of the person. In Rajasthan, the style of tying the turban changes every 12 miles; also the colours change according to the season and occasion.
Like for example, in spring you will see the white and red falguniya safa while the dotted chunri pattern signify an auspicious occasion such as the birth of a child. The panchranga safa which comprises of five colours is worn at weddings while the pink, red and green coloured ones are usually worn for festivals. The lahariya turbans on the other hand, are worn during the rainy season. Darker and duller colours such as dark blue or maroon are worn at somber events.
How to Tie Rajasthani Safa
Though this tradition originated from Rajasthan, now days any Indian wedding would be considered incomplete without this. The trend is catching up and the whole activity of safa tying adds a fun element to the wedding baraat. Even though each colour and pattern had a meaning associated with it in the past, couples do not believe in it any longer. The colours of the safas for the guests are selected keeping in mind the theme and colour scheme of the décor. Also, a different colour is chosen for each side so that just by seeing the safa you can tell whether a particular guest is representing the bride’s side or the groom’s side.
The safa tying activity happens just before the baraat procession begins. The grooms relatives and friends get their safas tied at the place where the baraat would begin while usually the bride’s side guests and family members get theirs tied at the venue so that they are ready to receive the baraat when it arrives at the venue.
The Jodhpuri style of tying the safa is quite popular at Indian weddings. A professional safa tying artist would take less than a minute to put on this complicated head gear for your guest!
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