Bindi is derived from bindu, the Sanskrit word for dot or drop.
It is usually a red dot made with
powder, which is worn by women between their eyebrows on their forehead, signifying the third eye.
Considered a symbol
of Parvati, a bindi signifies female energy and is believed
to protect women and their husbands.
Traditionally a symbol of marriage (vivaha), it has also
become decorative and is worn
today by unmarried girls and women as well.
No longer restricted
in color or shape, bindis are seen in
many bright colors and
in different shapes and designs.
They are also made
of colored felt and embellished with colored glass or glitter.
No one knows exactly when the tradition of putting on a bindi started, but for centuries it has been seen on the foreheads of Hindu men and women.
is made of red lead whereas
the one worn by men is of sandalwood paste, both of these substances are known for
their cooling properties.
When a man wears a bindi it is sometimes known as a tilak.
A bindi worn by women is also the reminder of their
bindi is worn by Hindu married women to symbolize their marriage.
However today the religious significance
of the bindi is largely forgotten and it is now
often worn as a fashion accessory.
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