A garland is a decorative wreath or cord (typically used at festive occasions) which can be hung round a person's neck or on inanimate objects like Christmas trees. Originally garlands were made of flowers or leaves.Contents
From the French "guirlande", itself from the Italian "ghirlanda," a braid.Types
A garland created from the daisy flower (generally as a children's game) is called a daisy chain. One method of creating a daisy chain is to pick daisies and create a hole towards the base of the stem (such as with fingernails or tying a knot). The stem of the next flower can be threaded through until stopped by the head of the flower. By repeating this with many daisies, it is possible to build up long chains and to form them into simple bracelets and necklaces. Another popular method involves pressing the flower heads against each other to create a look similar to a caterpillar.
The terms "daisy chain" or "daisy chaining" can also refer to various technical and social "chains."In literature Heavy flower garlands for sale in Chennai, India
In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, before Alice's adventures begin, she is sitting outside with her sister considering whether to make a daisy chain before being interrupted by a White Rabbit.In poetry Roman fresco of a woman with red hair wearing a garland of olives, from Herculaneum, made sometime before the city's destruction in 79 AD by Mount Vesuvius (which also destroyed Pompeii).
In India, where flower garlands have an important and traditional role in every festival, Hindu deities are decorated with garlands made from different fragrant flowers (often jasmine) and leaves. Both fragrant and non-fragrant flowers and religiously-significant leaves are used to make garlands to worship Hindu deities. Some of those flowers are as follows: jasmine, champaka, lotus, lilies, ashoka, nerium/oleander, chrysanthemum, roses, hibiscus, pinwheel flowers, manoranjini etc.House main door frame decorated with door frame garland (Nila Maalai) during a Housewarming party in Tamil Nadu
Apart from these, leaves and grasses like arugampul, maruvakam, davanam, maachi, paneer leaves, lavancha are also used for making garlands. Also fruit, vegetables and sometimes even currency notes are used for garlands, given as thanksgiving. Also in wedding the couple wears a wedding garland. In other occasions, it is used to show respect to an individual person or statue (murti). In Tamil Nadu marigold, nitya kalyani flower garlands are used only for dead bodies or burial rituals.In functions, garlands are used to denote the main person(host).
A Gajra is a flower garland which women in India and Bangladesh wear in their hair during traditional festivals. It is made usually of jasmine. It can be worn both around a bun and in braids. Women usually wear these when they wear sarees. Sometimes, they are pinned in hair with other flowers, like roses.
In Tamil Nadu temples (ancient) kings appointed people for making garlands daily for a particular deity. They were not allowed to sell that garland. Each Hindu temple in southern India has nandavanam (flower garden) where floral plants, trees for garlands are grown. Huge Shiva temples like Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram, Thyagaraja Temple, Tiruvarur and Arunachaleswara Temple, Thiruvannamalai still preserves such Nandavanams for supply of flowers for everyday rituals. Stone Inscriptions of Raja Raja Chola I at Thanjavur gives details of patronage of royals to the conservation of Nadavanams that belongs to The Big Temple.
In Srirangam Ranganathar temple only garlands made by temple sattharars (people who make garlands and never marry - surrendering their life to the lord's service) are used to adorn Lord Ranganatha. No other garlands, flowers are used there. Sattarars have traditional rules for everything - from plucking the flower to making garlands. Some of them are as follows:
While making garlands they keep flowers and other materials on a table because the garland for God should not touch the feet. It is always kept above hip level.
Depending upon the pattern and materials used the south Indian garlands are of different types. Some of them are as follows:
The maala for Gods has 2 free lower ends with kunjam (bunch of flowers), i.e. only the upper two ends are joined and the lower ends should not be not joined. It has two kunjams. Whereas garlands for humans have both lower ends joined together (only one kunjam).
Each Hindu deity has a unique garland: Goddess Lalitha wears hibiscus garland, Lord Vishnu wears tulasi leaves garland, Lord Shiva wears Bilvga leaves garland, Lord Subrahmanya wears jasmine garland, Mahalakshmi wears red lotus, Saraswathi devi wears a white lotus garland. Durga Devi wears nerium oleander garland, Vinayaka wears garland made of Durva Grass.
The tradition of garlanding statues as a sign of respect also extends to respected non-deities including ancient King Perumbidugu Mutharaiyar II and even innovative colonial administrator Mark Cubbon.See also