Walk down From flowers to leaves to currency notes, different garlands represent a different expression at a different time.
- Jasmine: Jasmine flower is garlanded together to make a hair ornament called gajra. Traditionally, this jasmine gajra is a symbol used to represent the married woman. It also acts as a perfume for the hair. One can feel the fragrance of these flowers permeating one’s soul when one passes a gajra-clad woman.
- Rose: Red is the color of married woman, and that is what rose represents. Rose garlands are very frequently used in marriage ceremonies of India to represent the communion of two souls. Roses are also used to worship Lord Ganesha.
- Marigold: Marigolds are spiritual flowers. One can see these marigold garlands at almost every auspicious place: be it a temple or an inauguration ceremony. These orange and yellow flowers are colorful and bright enough to be visible from far away and are also easily available. The flower garlands of marigold are also made in Singapore and Malaysia.
- Grass: Every deity is known to have their favorite offering such an offering is supposed to add merit to the prayer. Because of this, many of the specific garlands are offered to specific Hindu Gods. The garlands made from grass are offered to the Elephant God, Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha is known to clear all obstacles in the path and hence many businessmen keep his idols along with the cash box. The grass garlands are traditionally offered to Lord Ganesha.
- Neem: Neem is a medicinal plant as each of its parts is used to cure some kind of illness like its leaves keeps moths and insects away and its branches which can be used as toothbrush. Due to this quality, it is considered the favorite of Goddess Kali.
- Betel Leaves: These leaves are known to aid digestion and hence they are offered to Hindu deities after the food offering. Betel leaf garlands are commonly offered to Lord Hanuman.
- Lemons: Lighting of lemon lamp is said to ward off all the evil from the life. Lemon lamps with red kumkum represent the sacrifice of the blood. Special prayer days are held on Tuesdays between 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at Sri Veeramakaliamman wherein the women light these lamps.
The traditional uses of garlands make the ubiquitous sight in India. It is not only about religion; it is also about the pleasing nature of the flowers. Even the atheists use these as a way to welcome their guests or as a sign of respect to someone.