The spirit of colours in Rajasthan is deep seated and reflects in every aspect of its daily life; attire, ornaments, paintings, homes et all. If you know the colours of Rajasthan you will be able to identify communities and the social status of an individual.
Most of the knowledge on colours in Rajasthan is handed down over generations and it has been rarely documented locally. The colours that we see in Rajasthan are primarily divided into two categories Kachcha Rang which is temporary colour and, Pakka Rang which is permanent
colour. Kachcha rang are worn by the married and unmarried, while the widows only where Pakka rang. Red, Parrot Green, Yellow and Saffron fall under
temporary colour or Kachcha rang and Maroon, Brown, Dark Blue, Dark Green and Grey are permanent or Pakka rang. Nevertheless, in Jodhpur Dark Blue and
Purple, which are otherwise Pakka Rangs and only for widows are worn by the married women during the Diwali festival.
Did you know in Rajasthan there is a certain colour and design dedicated for every month or festival? The month of Chaitra in Rajasthan (March-April) is all about Orange and Golden. Basant Panchami or the season of harvesting (January and February) is welcomed with lemon yellow and light orange. In the month of Fagun (March), women wear red and white or magenta and white. Saawan or the Monsoon (July and August) is greeted with the colours of the rainbow, green being the dominating colour. Red is worn during the Teej Festival in the month of August when Rajasthani women fast and pray for the long life of their husbands.
The stories behind the turbans men wear in Rajasthan is equally fascinating. Known as Paag, Safa or Pagri the turban is a long scarf wrapped around the head. The
style of turbans in Rajasthan changes with every 15 kms. Know the turbans of Rajasthan and you will know the community the person belongs to and his social status. While the turbans of the Rajput community are made out of soft cotton known as malmal; communities such as the Rabaris wear red turbans made out of thick cotton. While Ochre is the colour of the mendicants of Rajasthan, the Bishnoi community; the original conservationist of India, wear white turbans. The
indigenous Bhils and Garasias wear printed white turbans. Turbans in Rajasthan also have other fascinating uses such as; it is used like a rope to take water out of a well, used for protection from the sun in the fields and tying cattle on halt.
Rajasthani men wear yellow turbans during Basant Panchami or the harvest festival (January and February). Between the month of February and March and Holi; the festival of colours, the Rajputs of Rajasthan wear turbans with the combination of red and white. In the month of July, they wear light pink. A green and pink striped or yellow and red striped turban is worn during the monsoon. Black tie and dyed turbans with red borders is ought to be worn at the time of Diwali; the festival of lights while Saffron turbans are worn just before Diwali. Light pink turbans are also worn in the month of October and at the time of Sharad Poornima or the full moon night.
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