Chapter 6: The Woman With The ‘Laal Paar Saree’

by Travelature Team

The quintessential Laal Paar saree, the epitome of grace.

For all our friends from West Bengal who are reading this article, your entire childhood must have roamed around the holidays of Durga Pujo. For those who are not familiar with the traditions of Bengal, let me tell you the following facts:

  1. Every Bengali guy will go on their knees when they see their girl in ‘red-bindi’
  2. Every woman looks beautiful in that white saree with a red border.

Durga Pujo is about celebrations, colours and charisma. The men and women, dressed in their best attire, hops pandals, devour their favourite delicacies and most importantly forget about their daily hustle and bustle. One of the most beautiful parts of Durgo Pujo is the ‘laal paar saari’. 

The origin of ‘Laal paar saree’

If you are eager to know the origin of ‘laal paar saree’ then this shall be your go-to article. The white saree is usually worn by widows according to Hindu traditions. On the contrary, the colour ‘white’ also symbolizes peace, tranquillity and fertility.

The ‘laal paar saree’ or the red border symbolizes power, will and womanhood. The red border on a white saree is worn by married women, mostly, during Durga Pujo especially on the days of Durga Ashtami and Dashami.

‘Laal paar saree’ in 2021 is a fetish for every woman in a Bengali community. Every woman adores herself with a ‘laal paar saree’ irrespective of her marital status.

How did it all begin?

Bengal used to be a prosperous land of ‘zamindars’. The people were not economically strong back then. For the poverty hit population, clothes were a luxury. For the widows, a white saree was the only attire, which was called ‘thann’. Due to its availability in large quantities, it was the cheapest cloth available for the lower sections of the society to be bought during Durga Puja. The white saree was bordered with red to distinguish it from widows and that gave birth to ’laal paar saree’.

In 2021, the ‘thann’ saree is mainly imported from Murshidabad in West Bengal. The tradition of ‘laal-paar-saree’ has been embraced in such a manner that every section of society prefers to wear it as mandatory traditional attire, presently.

If any of our readers want to blow off their Bengali boyfriend, then make sure you wear a ‘laal paar saree’ with that red bindi during Durga Pujo.
For those who are having a crush on a Bengali girl, make sure you count on your heartbeats when she wears that saree.

Why RED?

Red symbolizes power and danger at the same time. Legend has it that red symbolizes the victory of good over evil and white symbolizes the peace which one attains by refraining from unnecessary trouble.

Durga Maa did not wage a war against ‘Mahishasura’ although she was more powerful than him. Instead, she had asked him to refrain from creating such agony for others. On being denied, she had to bring peace through war.

Only a woman has the perfect mind to balance power and not be devoured by it. This perfectly explains the combination of red and white. This perfectly explains why gender equality is important in our society.

The significance of ‘laal-paar-saree’ might be a story without a beginning but it is undoubtedly the most beautiful armour for a Woman, for a Devi and a Goddess.

Content Curator & Creative Writer

Dr. Arindam Ballav

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