Why do Asian brides wear Kaleeray?

Kaleeray are a gift given to the bride as a sagun (a blessing) to the bride from her Nankay (maternal family).

It is customary for the Kaleeray ritual to take place on the night prior to the big day – The Wedding Day. After the Choorah Rassam (the placing of the red bracelets on each arm) by the brides mama-ji (the bride’s mother’s brothers) they then tie the Kaleeray on the bride's wrists.

Once the Kaleeray ritual has taken place it is important for the bride to keep her Kaleeray on until after the wedding ceremony. For comfort and ease of movement it is acceptable for the bride to remove the Kaleeray while in the comfort of her own home surroundings.

The Kaleeray are adorned on the bride throughout the wedding day.

Traditionally – the day after the Wedding the couple will go to the Mandir or Gurdwara (temple – place of worship) for their blessing as a married couple. At this stage the bride will leave one Kaleera at either the Mandir or Gudwara as a gift, seeking the ceaseless blessing of the priest.

The other Kaleera is kept by the bride as a memento of their special day and the promises taken as a wife to her husband.

How did the Kaleeray originate?

Many many years ago the Kaleeray was worn by the bride for good-luck and was tied by both the bride’s maternal family, friends and the grooms family.

The Kaleera was made from pure fully-dried coconuts either as whole or half-cut coconut. In the course of the long and slow journey to the bride’s husband’s village the coconuts were nibbled on by the bride. The story behind this was to make sure the bride never became hungry.

Fashion has now influenced an ending to this tradition as brides relish the opportunity to match their Kaleeray to their Wedding Dress. Whereby, elements of the design theme / fabrics / sequence of their wedding dress are replicated onto the bespoke Kaleeray – complimenting the whole wedding outfit.

What does the Kaleera consist of?

Today a Kaleera is in the shape of a dome made from soft, light rose wood or metal.

For those who wish to continue the tradition we are happy to use pure fully-dried coconuts either as a whole piece or cut in half.

Traditionally, Kaleeray are
worn hanging from the wrist
by the bride.