World Saree Day Date in the current year: December 21, 2024

World Saree Day World Saree Day, also known as International Saree Day, was created to recognize the historical and cultural significance of a traditional women’s garment from the Indian subcontinent. It is celebrated annually on December 21.

A saree, also spelled sari or shari, is a women’s garment consisting of a stretch of woven fabric that is arranged over the body as a robe. One end of a saree is attached to the waist, while the other rests over one shoulder as shawl, sometimes leaving a part of the midriff bare. Sari is usually worn with a choli (blouse or bodice) and gagra/lehenga (long skirt).

The origin of the saree can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization. Today, the garment is a popular form of traditional attire in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. There are four main styles of the saree (Northern and Central, Eastern, Western, and Southern) and countless draping styles. The garment is valued for its timelessness, simplicity, elegance, and versatility: it can be easily adapted to the body of the wearer, enhancing her natural beauty.

The first attempt to create World Saree Day was made in 2009 by Indian social Activist Nalini Shekar, who wanted to revive sarees, showcase the versatility of the garment, and maintain its legacy. However, the celebration didn’t catch on.

Two years later, a new attempt to launch a holiday celebrating sarees was made by Puthli, a producer of designer saree blouses. They wanted to promote their products (naturally) and encourage saree enthusiasts to proudly display their fashion sense by wearing their most elegant saree. The inaugural Puthli World Saree Day was celebrated on October 23, 2011. However, it’s social media accounts have been inactive ever since, so this version of the holiday didn’t catch on either.

Finally, the third World Saree Day was started by Indian journalist Nistula Hebbar and Dr. Sindhura Kaviti in 2020. They wanted to honor the unique art of sarees and the weaving communities of the Indian subcontinent. This time the holiday gained nationwide recognition in India and then outside of the country as well. It was even featured in Vogue India in 2022. The holiday aims to revive the popularity of the saree among the young generation of women who prefer Western clothing and pay tribute to the cultural diversity of the Indian subcontinent reflected in traditional clothes.

There are many ways to celebrate World Saree Day. If you own a saree, proudly wear it. If you don’t, maybe it’s time to expand your wardrobe and buy one (wearing a saree as a casual outfit may not be the best idea and you definitely shouldn’t dress up as Indian for Halloween, but most Indians are perfectly okay with non-Indians wearing sarees at traditional events like Indian weddings or Hindu festivals and even encourage it).

You can also learn more about the rich history and symbolism of sarees, as well as their difference from other Indian attire, invite your friends over for a Bollywood movie marathon, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #WorldSareeDay.

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