A garland is a decorative wreath of flowers, leaves, or other material. Garlands can be worn on the head or around the neck, hung on an inanimate object, or laid in a place of cultural or religious importance.
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 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 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 popular flowers include:
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.
A gajra is a flower garland which women in India and Bangladesh wear in their hair during traditional festivals. It is commonly made with jasmine. It can be worn around a bun as well as in braids. Women usually wear these when they wear sarees. Sometimes, they are pinned in the hair with other flowers, such as roses.
In ancient times, Tamil kings employed people to manufacture garlands daily for a particular deity. These garlands were not available for public consumption.
In contemporary times, each Hindu temple in southern India has a nandavanam (flower garden) where flowers and trees for garlands are grown. Large Shiva temples like Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram, Thyagaraja Temple, Tiruvarur and Arunachaleswara Temple, and those found in Thiruvannamalai still preserve such nandavanams for supplying flowers for daily rituals.
At Srirangam Ranganathar temple, only garlands made by temple sattharars (brahmacaris employed for garland-making)are used to adorn the deity Ranganatha. Garland and flowers from outside the temple grounds are forbidden. Sattarars have several disciplinary rules for many aspects of their profession, some of which include:
While making garlands, the sattarars keep flowers and other materials on a table in order to keep them away from the feet, which are traditionally viewed as unclean and unfit for use in a religious context. Material is always kept above hip level.
South Indian garlands are of different types. Some of them are as follows:
Each Hindu deity has a unique garland:
The tradition of garlanding statues as a sign of respect extends to respected non-divine beings, including ancient King Perumbidugu Mutharaiyar II and the innovative colonial administrator Mark Cubbon.
A reference to a garland is found in the Nepalese national anthem, Sayaun Thunga Phool Ka. The first line reads, "Woven from hundreds of flowers, we are one garland that's Nepali."
It was the first time since independence that Cubbon has been honoured thus. The group strongly feels Cubbon deserves it; they credit him with being one of the architects of Bangalore and Mysore.
Collector K.S. Palanisamy led the district administration officials in paying respects to ‘Perumpidugu’ Mutharayar by garlanding the statue at Othakadai Junction in the morning.