Anklets are not only beautiful and stylish but have you ever wondered why Indian babies wear anklets?
Anklets, also known as ankle bracelets, are accessories used to accentuate casual attire. Oftentimes, anklets are worn in summer, but you could also have anklets on whenever your feet and anklets are exposed. What you may not know is that the anklets are also deeply symbolic, especially to Indians.
In this article, we’ll look at the significance of anklets in general and also why Indian babies are often adorned with them.
So, let’s get started.
What is the symbolic meaning of wearing anklets?
Anklets have different meanings, depending on what they are used for. The human race has accessorized with anklets for over 2700 years, and historical records show that the anklets were worn During the Time of Isaiah.
The other notable accessories at the time include scarves and crescents, in addition to the jingling anklets. During these times, the anklets were nothing more than ornaments that were worn by individuals who were wealthy.
In Thailand, however, the anklet symbolized social status, specifically of the ancient Thai women.
The anklets were also popular with royalties and the aristocrats who wore silver or gold anklets with elaborate patterns. These anklets were decorated or enameled with high-end jewels. Newborn babies also received anklets as their first jewelry.
And across numerous cultures during ancient times, Indian and Thai women wear anklets on both ankles to show that they are unmarried, and they only removed the anklets when they got married.
Historically, the anklets were given as gifts to the bride from the groom as a way of officiating their nuptials.
But why babies?
Why do Indian babies wear anklets?
Indian babies often wear anklets, specifically, silver anklets, because it is believed that silver jewelry offers numerous health benefits.
What you may not know is that silver jewelry has been used for centuries, from the Vedic Era, where silver was used to enhance beauty, even as it allowed its wearers to leverage its many health benefits. Perhaps as a practice borrowed from these times, the Indian babies are today graced with ornaments made of silver, especially on the lower parts of their bodies.
In Hindi, anklets are known as Payal, and they are defined as metallic strings that are worn by babies and married women.
The use of silver for the anklets has to with Hindi traditions where it is considered disrespectful to wear gold on the feet and below the waist.
For married women, the anklets are significant in that they have tiny tinkling bells, which create a jingling sound whenever the lady walks, making it easy for other family members to recognize the fact that a lady is approaching. This would, in turn, make the rest of the family to act more respectfully.
At the same time, it allowed wives to attract the attention of their husbands.
So, why do Indian babies wear silver anklets? Is there science behind the practice?
Below, we look at some of the scientific reasons and the health benefits of wearing silver on the ankle (or any other parts of the body).
- Oligodynamic properties. Silver possesses oligodynamic properties, which means that this metal can kill bacteria, among other microorganisms that could cause harm to your body.
- Silver anklets are also worn by babies because it is believed that silver can transfer negative energies from the baby to the earth, whether the baby is lying on the floor or sitting, and this results in an overall healthy body. It is purely superstitious, though, and there is no scientific backing for these claims.
- Generally, silver is a precious metal with a direct connection to the earth’s energy core, which is why most silver jewelry is ideally worn on the lower parts of the body.
The silver anklets for kids are also known as Silver Kada. These anklets are believed to have the power to destroy negative energies flowing through the body, as well as the house.
Jewelry is a huge part of the Indian customs, and babies, along with childbirth, are occasions that are celebrated with a lot of pomp and color and jewelry; during naming ceremonies or childbirth celebrations, the elders present gold and silver jewelry to babies.
Unfortunately, newborn babies have sensitive skin, and the metallic piece of jewelry might not be the most ideal for them, which is why it’s important to take precautions when choosing and giving jewelry to babies. Some of these considerations include:
- Not buying jewelry with Jhumka decorations.
- Avoid jewelry with features that would increase the chances of the baby getting stuck.
- Opt for the Kada-style anklets because they are safer, thanks to their round shape, which reduces the chances of the anklet getting caught up in threads.
- The anklet chosen should be free of lead, with no magnetic properties.
- It should be made of soft materials like silicone.
- Also, make sure that the anklet is made of non-toxic materials.
If you are looking for anklets for your baby, the information above will be helpful in making sure that you choose the best anklet for him/ her.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.