Have you ever attended an Indian, Moroccan, or Pakistani wedding ceremony? Then you've probably seen or worn mehndi. Many brides, both abroad and in India, wear these henna "tattoos" or " Mehendi" on their hands and feet for wedding celebrations; If you look closely and you might spot their Husband's name written into the design. Many women wear henna in their regular beauty routines, but it's a must in India for special occasions too. Here are some strikingly beautiful examples of this decorative art form now.
The mehendi ceremony is something which is usually followed by the bride’s family but the mother - in - law pays for the bridal mehendi. The origin of this amusing observance dates back to 5000 years and is one of the oldest Indian wedding traditions. The mehendi ceremony is one of the most important and fun-filled pre-wedding ceremonies in Northern India. Apart from the fun it imparts, it has a deep-rooted cultural significance to it.
The "Mehendi ki Raat" is the night just before the wedding day. Mehendi is put on the hands and feet of the Indian bride by a family member or mehendi expert. Bride’s friends, sisters and other ladies present in the house also apply mehendi. This ceremony entails an elaborate design, which takes a couple of hours for applying over the hands and feet of the bride.
Significance Of Mehendi:
Mehendi signifies the bond of marriage, a promise both the bride and groom are going to follow it religiously all throughout their lives. Considered as a ‘shagun’, it signifies the love between the couple and their families. Here are some popular beliefs associated with this ceremony.
- The darker is the color of mehendi on bride’s hand, the deeper will be the love of groom for his bride.
- The henna color also depicts the love and understanding between the bride and her mother-in-law.
- The longer the mehendi retains its color, the more auspicious it is for the newlyweds Mehendi is also deemed to be a symbolic representation of fertility.
- Bridal mehendi motifs include symbols of love, fertility, loyalty, prosperity and good luck.
During the Hindu festival of ‘karva chauth’ each year, married women apply henna, dress up in all their finery and renew their marriage vows.
Some Fun Facts:
The wedding mehendi designs usually includes the hidden inscription of the groom’s name on bride’s palm. While in some parts of India it is believed if the groom fails to find his name within the elaborate patterns, the bride will be dominant in conjugal life, in other regions, the wedding night is not allowed to commence until the groom has found his name in the design.
It is a custom that the bride is not permitted to do any housework as long as the bridal henna pattern has not faded. This was perhaps a way of ensuring an extended honeymoon for the couple.
Mehendi is now even applied with sequins and glitters too, like crystals and sparkles. Each beautiful design is enabled with degrees of intricacy and can be made unique for the bride. These elaborate design patterns are now quite popular among Hindu and Muslim brides, worldwide.
Different Types of Henna:
There are many different varieties of Henna, grown in different regions of the world.
Moroccan is great if you are in a hurry because the pigment is released quickly. This is great if you need to make a batch of henna but you don't have enough time to leave it overnight.
Jamila is great for people who like a more orange/fire red stain to their henna.
Rajasthani is great for a rich, brown Henna stain. It turns black if you do not wash your feet and hands for 48 hours and keep it warm by covering your mehendi with gloves and socks.
Yemen is known for its rich stain that builds up to a lovely burgundy red over time.
Arabic Black: the name explains it all, leaves a black tatoo like stain for 15-20 days.
White Henna: 'White henna' refers to a body adhesive created for the attachment of surgical appliances to skin and for make up artists to apply cosmetic appliance to skin. Moonlight® Gilding Paste, (often called 'white henna'), is a body adhesive which has been specifically adapted for henna body art: it is a white paste which can be applied with a cone, and sealed with glitter or gilding powder.
These adhesives that are used as 'white henna' were originally developed for physicians to attach life-saving medical prosthetics to a person's skin. These adhesives are also used by professional makeup artists to attach prosthetics for special effects
“Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry.” -Tom Mullen
“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.”
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”