A NEW FAD OF HINDU IDENTIFICATION:
Red thread around the wrist (right for men and left for women) is the new fad of Hindu ritualistic identification. Called Mauli or Kalva, it is tied by a priest or an elderly person after a ceremonial event. The wearer is supposed to keep the thread until it is worn out.
The literal meaning of Mauli in Sanskrit is ‘crown,’ which means, above all. There are several mythological stories about the origin of Mauli, as well as claims of health benefits.
The red cotton thread is often mixed with small colors of yellow or orange. It is supposed to dispense some magical powers of protection and to ward off misfortune as well as to attract good luck.
Many among those who wear the Mauli have a strong feeling that it should not be removed because of a fear that such an act can bring bad luck.
It is the fear factor which dominates all the religions of the world, and Hinduism is not an exception. The sacred thread symbolizes that fear, besides its ritualistic value.