February 21, 2024

Jo Mai Asian Culture

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Understanding the spiritual significance of Sun and Moon jewels in South Indian tradition

2 min read
Indian culture is rich in heritage and traditions and indeed South Indian culture is more. From foods, temples, history, folks and styling, South India stands as a testament to rituals, culture and traditions with science. Here, we are talking about South Indian brides and Bharatnatyam dancers’ jewel collection. Among the various types of jewellery worn by South Indian women, the Sun and Moon jewels are perhaps the most symbolic and fascinating.These are two ornamental pieces that are worn on either side of the head, representing the sun and the moon. They are also known as Surya and Chandra, or Nethi Chutti and Mattal in Tamil. The sun is considered the source of life, energy, and power, while the moon is associated with romance, emotion, and beauty. The Sun and Moon jewels symbolize the balance and harmony between these opposing forces, as well as the cycle of creation and destruction.
Origin and DesignThe Sun and Moon jewels were initially part of the temple jewellery, used to adorn the idols of gods and goddesses, and later it was worn by the devadasis (temple dancers, who performed sacred dances in honour of the deities). Its history dates back to 9th to 13th centuries, during the Chola Dynasty. The Chola kings used the sun and the moon as their emblems, and wore them on their crowns and helmets.
The Sun and Moon jewels were initially part of the temple jewellery, used to adorn the idols of gods and goddesses, and later it was worn by the devadasis (temple dancers, who performed sacred dances in honour of the deities). Its history dates back to 9th to 13th centuries, during the Chola Dynasty. The Chola kings used the sun and the moon as their emblems, and wore them on their crowns and helmets.
Over time, the Sun and Moon jewels evolved in design and craftsmanship, incorporating various materials, such as gold, silver, copper, brass, pearls, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and other precious and semi-precious stones. The Sun jewel usually has a circular shape while the Moon jewel has a crescent shape.
Significance in Bridal Attire
Masaba Gupta wedding attire was just more than jewels and clothes, her attire marked modern infusion of traditional Chandra and Surya Pirayi, as in South Indian culture, the Sun and Moon jewels represent the duality of a woman’s nature. The Sun signifies her strength, power, and auspiciousness, while the Moon embodies her gentleness, grace, and fertility. Wearing these jewels is believed to bring blessings upon the bride and her new life.
Significance in Bharatnatyam
In Bharatnatyam, a classical dance form originating from Tamil Nadu, folk dancers adorn themselves with the Sun and Moon jewels which serves as a reminder to balance both the energies.

Darshan at Shree Dwarkadhish Jagan Mandir, Dwaraka 29 – Jan – 2024


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