Skip to Content

The Red String Bracelet: History, Meaning And How To Use It

A red string bracelet is not only striking and stylish, but it is also filled with a rich history.

Because the bracelet is exactly what the name says it is, it is highly visible and attention-grabbing, while being much less expensive than a silver or gold bracelet.

Red bracelet with crystal bezel
Image by MyHarmonyTree via Etsy

Some people wear a simple single strand, while others layer multiple strands or just wear two next to each other on their wrist.

Also, some red string bracelets are beaded or contain some adornments. So, let’s look into the red string bracelet and get into some of the historical significance of this symbolic piece of fashion.

Buddhist Red String Bracelet Meanings

Eastern religions, including Buddhism, are rich with symbolism, often in the form of clothing, beverages or rings and bracelets.

Specifically, in Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, a Lama blesses the red string and ties it according to Buddhist tradition.

The Lama then speaks a mantra over the strand to bless it. The bracelet is now prepared to offer protection to those who wear it, while also delivering good luck.

Once the string bracelet has been blessed in that way, it is given to students of Buddhism to mark specific points in their spiritual growth.

As you can see, the red string bracelet holds great significance in this famous religion.

It is difficult to know where this tradition originated from. It is also hard to learn which religion was first to use a red strand for ceremony or as a charm, but we do know that all the major religions adopted it millennia ago.

Hindu Red String Bracelet Meanings

Red string bracelets have great significance in the Indian religion of Hinduism.

They are to be worn at many religious ceremonies and celebrations. As is the case with several religions, the red strand means good luck and positivity in Hinduism.

It also means spiritual blessing.

However, it’s important to recognize that it also has some symbolism that could be considered much more practical.

In this context, it functions much like a wedding band in secular Western society.

You see, in Hinduism, married women wear a red string on the left wrist, while men and unmarried women wear it on their right wrist.

Naturally, that sends a message that people should not flirt with those who have a red string on the left side.

It affirms the sacred nature of marriage in that way.

Ancient Japanese and Chinese Red String Bracelet Meanings

The meaning of the red bracelet in ancient Chinese culture and history is quite different from other traditions.

For the Chinese people, it is associated with Yue Lao, the marriage god in Chinese myth.

This god appears only at night and is depicted as an old man in the moon. The way he presents a red string is quite interesting–it is known as the red thread of fate.

This fabric is said to invisibly unite couples who, fate determines, are meant to be together.

How amazing is that? Is it possible that there are invisible threads in our lives?

In a lot of ways, that would be reassuring, because it shows that some force is looking out for us.

Kabbalah and Christian Red String Bracelet Meanings

You’ve no doubt heard the word Judeo-Christian to describe what some folks just call Christian.

There are a couple of main reasons for this. One is that Jesus Christ was Jewish.

While it is said that some Jewish leaders had him crucified, many Jewish people followed him, and they were struck by his resurrection and apparent return to Heaven.

These true believers included the Apostle Paul, a main founder of Judeo-Christianity.

The religion revolved around the teachings of Jesus Christ, which in turn were the word of God.

These words were set down in what is now known as the Old Testament, which was written before the life of Christ.

In other words, the Old Testament was written by Jewish people and originally belonged solely to Jewish practitioners of faith.

However, since it was included along with the New Testament, the two religions have a link.

Rachel, Mother of Joseph and Benjamin

Within the Jewish religion is a spiritual or magical component called Kabbalah.

This sect has a unique interpretation of a Jewish folk symbol referring to the story of Rachel.

She was the wife of Jacob, son of Abraham. She spent many years of her life tormented by her belief that she was barren, since she went a long time unable to become pregnant.

Finally, she birthed a son named Joseph, who’d later be known through the story of the coat of many colors.

She became pregnant again and gave birth to Benjamin, dying shortly after.

However, while she was dying, she expressed no regret or remorse for losing her life.

Rather, she was worried about her sons and any evil that may befall them. Therefore, not only is she revered as a holy mother in the Kabbalah tradition, but believers developed a charm to ward off evil in her name.

Devotees of Kabbalah now wrap a scarlet thread around Rachel’s tomb each year, seven times, to give it protective energy.

Then, the length of fabric is removed from the tomb and cut into bracelets.

This allows those who wear it to engage in the Kabbalah bracelet prayer, a big part of the cultural history of people who engage in Kabbalah.

Red String Bracelets and the Evil Eye

According to Kabbalah, negativity can spread to others. So, when a person thinks negative or hateful thoughts, it can send negativity to someone else, a phenomenon called the evil eye. Due to the positive symbolism of the red string bracelet, it is one of various charms that can ward off the evil eye.

Rahab and the Red Cord

As we get into the Christian part of the Judeo-Christian meaning of the red string bracelet, one fascinating story is that of Rahab, Jericho prostitute.

Jericho was a stronghold of an enemy of the Canaanites. They wanted to take the city under the leadership of Joshua.

Rahab ran an inn to which she brought some Canaanite spies. She then asked the spies to spare her and her family from destruction.

So they would know which part of the city was hers, she hung a red cord down from the wall so they would spare her.

For that reason, the red cord is a sign of salvation and protection. Today, when one visits the holy land, one will likely see women wearing red string bracelets, and sometimes red cords around their waists.

Wearing a Red String Bracelet

Many ancient traditions carry through to our present day. However, whether or not it’s a trend in society to wear a red string bracelet, anyone can engage in their own personal tradition.

Besides the fashionable nature of red string bracelets, there are many reasons to wear a red string bracelet:

Good luck- Before a person gets into the quest for good fortune and for the right energies, a person’s fortune may seem random or senseless.

It may seem that some folks have good luck and some don’t. However, if it’s something you’re interested in, there are many amulets, bracelets, necklaces and other pieces of jewelry that are associated with good luck.

While nothing is guaranteed, the good luck that is thought to come from red string bracelets is rooted in centuries of tradition.

Warding off bad luck- Whether it’s the evil eye or more general bad luck, a red string bracelet is associated with it.

Some would say that this is due to the fact that red, at least in the Bible, represents the blood of Christ, and as a result, red is meant to represent salvation or protection.

One’s soul is cleansed with it. Therefore what can harm you? It’s worth a thought.

How to Wear a Red String Bracelet

When you wear a red string bracelet or any variety of red string on your wrist, you want to get the best benefits from it, such as protection and/or good luck.

Therefore, you need to follow a few very simple guidelines, which we’ll now outline.

  • Left wrist– Be sure to wear the red string bracelet either on your left wrist or somewhere on the left side of your body. This is the side that attracts positive energy, meaning that as energy flows through the red cord, you will absorb it better.
  • Non-dominant hand– If you believe in the concept of feng shui, it’s important to wear the bracelet on your non-dominant wrist, which could possibly mean the right. The placement of various things and the path of energies is fundamental to feng shui.
  • Right wrist– If you are looking to bring in good energy, as listed above, the left wrist is correct. However, the right wrist is the giving side, so if you are looking to give away good energy, you should look for that wrist.

Activate Your String Bracelet

Here are the steps to activating your red string bracelet.

  • Intention– Remember, however striking the bracelets are, most people wear them for a specific purpose, as discussed throughout this article. Therefore, it is important to form a clear intention and to clearly visualize it.
  • Mantra– Right after tying the bracelet to your wrist, it’s a good idea to recite a mantra. This is a short statement that invites the results you’re looking for. It could be something like “I choose positive energy,” or “I accept the positive things that will come to me”. This will properly activate the bracelet.
  • Acceptance– You have just spoken a mantra to bring the desired energy into your life. The next, corresponding step, is to accept the good energy, which you can do mentally, without verbalizing it. Believe that the energy is real, and pledge to be a good vessel for it.

You may decide to purchase a red string bracelet or make one yourself. Either will work, because it is the color that is operative.

If you wish to make your own bracelet, just place a piece of yarn on a flat surface, pull it to create tension, and while maintaining tension, tie it in a loop.

As you can see, the traditions behind the red string bracelet are ancient, rich and varied.

They combine or are relevant to many major religions, cultures and belief systems in the world.

If you feel that you may be beset by negative energy or by bad luck, a red string bracelet could be a remedy.

It has so many meanings in addition to looking great.

Red String Bracelet FAQ

What does wearing a red string bracelet mean?

In general, it means warding off evil energies of various kinds and bringing in positive energies. While various ideologies play into this dynamic, it is what runs through the wearing of red string bracelets.

What wrist do you wear a red string bracelet on?

If you are trying to bring in the most positive energy for yourself, focus on the left wrist, because this is the side of the body that absorbs positive energy the best.

Can a Catholic wear a red string bracelet?

There is no group of people who can’t take advantage of the positive energies of a red string bracelet. If a person wears a bracelet in a way that offends people in their religion, that is an issue for them to nicely discuss together.

What are the benefits of wearing red thread on your wrist?

The main benefit is positivity, whether it be a general positive energy or warding off negative energies. If you are specifically worried about the evil eye, that can be another benefit.

Why does the red bracelet have 7 knots?

This goes to the original story of Rachel in the Old Testament and the ritual associated with it. In it, participants wrap a cord around Rachel’s tomb and then cut it into 7 lengths.