When we often look at the Sikh turban, we automatically associate it with identification of religion; that is how you identify a Sikh. Have you ever questioned why an individual is wearing a specific turban colour? Whether there is a deeper association?
The colour of a turban can go far beyond being a simple fashion-outfit coordination, it can provide a deeper significance and meaning towards mentality, spirituality, and living.
Orange and Blue
Orange and Blue turbans are known as the Sikh Khalsa colours. The blue represents ‘warrior’ - someone who will protect their faith and protect the good. It also serves as a reminder of the bravery of previous generations and their fight against oppression. Both orange and blue are a representation and reminder of Sikh history and wars in which the colours were worn.
The colour orange on the other hand represents wisdom. Wisdom has been embedded in Sikhi since the first Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who taught all of us that ‘we are all one, we are one with God and God is a part of us’. The colour orange also represents courage and knowledge which are two qualities practiced within Sikhism.
Orange can also symbolise sacrifice and strength, which is why the colour is often paired with blue.
Blue and orange will therefore especially be recognised and worn at religious commemorations and observances as the colours represent a community; creating a sense of togetherness and being one.
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White is bright, simple yet reflective; it symbolises deflecting negativity, being radiant and pure therefore, ‘white turbans are worn to extend the aura and the person’s projection’. Often white is associated with purity of the physical body and consciousness, allowing one to focus on their mind and actions. This allows a Sikh individual to particularly have a clean mind focusing on God as well as their spiritual being.
White Turbans are sometimes worn in Sikh Kirtan events alongside white clothing, this allows higher energy flow as white magnifies the strength of our electromagnetic field, creating a sense of positive and powerful energy amongst people.
Many elderly will also adopt wearing a white turban due to the simple and peaceful aspect.
White turbans are also worn at events in which colourful clothing would be inappropriate for example a funeral.
Black turbans are quite commonly worn, with the colour being simple and able to be easily paired alongside any outfit. However, black represents the surrender of the ego and demonstrates humility. This is a quality taught within Sikhism, therefore black turbans serve as a reminder to follow this lifestyle.
Pink and Red
Pink and red turbans are often worn at weddings, it is a traditional attire for the groom, with the colours being considered auspicious for the marriage, showing new beginnings filled with prosperity. However, the colours can go beyond the linkage with marriage representing strength and bravery.
It is not compulsory to wear red/pink and many will choose the turban colour depending on their and the bride’s outfit.
Many would associate the colour Gold with weddings however, it has a bigger representation. The colour Gold symbolises a sense of calm and healing that helps with anxiety and clearing the mind. This significance derives from the Golden temple, due to the Harminder Sahib being a place of peace and meditation.
Gold is also another colour that many choose to wear at weddings.
Yellow is a happy colour that symbolises sunshine, happiness, and joy. It brings out one’s identity and who they are, giving the ability for one to learn and gain insight to more knowledge that can help them on their life journey.
Yellow can also be associated with freedom and liberation.
Despite there being a range of turban colours and the majority being worn in coordination to clothing, we must learn and teach others on the significance of some important colours and how they play a big part in life values.
They can be an important reminder of the way to live life but also an important reminder of Sikh history.
[Anon, (n.d.). Wisdom of Guru Nanak – Global Sikh Council. [online] Available at: https://globalsikhcouncil.org/wisdom-of-guru-nanak/ [Accessed 11 May 2021].
Boone, M., 2021. The Orange Turban And Their Importance. [online] The Orange Turban And Their Importance. Available at: <https://mangalindak-artsandentertainment.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-orange-turban-and-their-importance.html> [Accessed 9 June 2021].
Bhatti, P., 2021. Significance of Color in Sikh Turbans. [online] D'Source. Available at: <http://www.dsource.in/resource/sikh-turbans/significance-color-sikh-turbans> [Accessed 9 June 2021].
Ji, S., 2021. Wearing White. [online] Sikh Dharma International. Available at: <https://www.sikhdharma.org/wearing-white/> [Accessed 9 June 2021].