Mehendi

Mehendi is the traditional art of painting the hands, feet with a paste made from the powdered, dried leaves of the henna plant (Botanical name : Lawsonia Inermis). Coffee, lemon, tea, and essential oils are sometimes added for texture and smell..

          


In Ancient times : 
Let's start from ancient times,  in the Middle East and Northern Africa over 5,000 years ago. It has been used for artistic, ritual and ceremonial use. Archeologists have even found mummies with hennaed hands. It's becoming popular for a pain free, temporary body art here in the states.

Mehendi is an ancient form of body art that has been practiced in the Middle East, India and parts of Africa for thousands of years. It is often seen as a woman's practice,  though it has indeed been practiced by men. This is the art of applying designs to the skin through the application of pastes made with henna powder on different parts of the body. Henna was most often applied to the hands and feet.
 







Medicinal value :
It is applied to relieve the bride from wedding stress and also improves general health and blood circulations.
It  provide protection from viral diseases. That is why mehendi is applied to the bride and groom. Henna was first applied as a means to cool down the body. A dot was applied to the palm of the hands and helped to cool the body.

Cultures :
In the different cultures where the practice of Mehendi flourished, different styles and ways of application developed. There are the fine lines of designs of Pakistan and India. There are more geometric patterns and designs of Morocco. There are bold geometric shapes and patterns of various parts of Africa.

How the Designs are made : 
Mehendi patterns are created with the application of paste with gold rods, plastic cones, plastic bottles with tips, syringes, toothpicks and other tools henna artists have developed to get the job done and express themselves through the art of it. After becoming bored with the look of the single dot on the palm, the  users of henna began to add lines and other shapes. Eventually this elaboration became the beautiful designs we see today.



Significant: 
One of the most important pre-wedding ceremonies in Indian marriages is the Mehendi ki Raat. The beautiful bride-to-be adorns her hands and feet with striking designs made of henna. As per the traditions, even the groom applies a bit of mehendi on his hands as well as feet. The entire ceremony is a fun-filled event with every family member and close friends of the bride and the groom being a part of it. But, apart from being a fun pre-wedding ritual, the ceremony also has a deep-rooted cultural significance to it. And, here we tell you all about the beautiful significance of mehendi in Indian marriages.

Mehendi is yet another traditional yet exciting pre-wedding ceremony. In Indian weddings, a lot of emphasis is given on customs and rituals and the same is reflected in the ceremony before marriage. It has become such an integral part of the wedding that it cannot be imagined without it. This is one of the sixteen adornments of the bride and her beauty is incomplete without it. Usually takes place just before marriage. According to the ritual, the bride does not step out of the house after this ceremony. Essentially organized by the family of the bride and is usually a private affair which takes place in the presence of friends, relatives and family members. However, the scale of the ceremony depends upon individual choice. Some people celebrate it with great pomp and show.

Mehendi holds a lot of cultural significance in Indian traditions. Be it weddings, Karva Chauth or other occasions, an important role in all the ceremonies and festivals of India. In today's era of modernization, the new styles and designs of mehendi are coming up, adding color, glamour and fun to it.

Weddings being the most important day in ones life, mehendi has become an ornament for the soon to be brides. The whole ceremony dedicated to its celebration. It is popularly known as Mehendi Ceremony or Mehendi Ki Raat. Besides this, the phrase Haath Peele Karna as often heard from elders of the family is a rasam of mehendi directly synonymous to marriage. This significance maybe attributed to symbolic meaning of mehendi i.e. fertility. Mehendi Ceremony is among the pre wedding rituals in Indian weddings performed a day prior to the marriage.

Just as Haldi ceremony symbolizes cleanliness, mehendi signifies beautification. Mehendi-Ki-Raat is usually a private affair with close relatives, friends and family members, celebrated amidst lot of dancing and feasting. This ritual is often combined with Sangeet ceremony and so is primarily a women function. The atmosphere is imbued with dholak beats and singing of traditional songs while mehendi is applied on brides hands and legs by mehendi experts. The brides mehendi interweaves the name of her would be husband and he is expected to find his name in the pattern.  After the wedding, the groom is supposed to find his initials that have been cleverly hidden in the mehendi patterns. This is also considered as a way to break the ice between the couple, in a traditional arranged marriage. 
It is said that the deep love between the bride and groom is represented by the darkness of the mehendi color. The complicated designed can attract good energy, promote fertility and prevent evil power.
 

It is believed that henna improved human awareness of the earth’s energies, and hence it was utilized to help people keep in touch with their spirituality. Nails coloured with henna also indicated a high social status.. Though it is not an unknown fact but a lot of people don’t know that by the colour of the mehendi it can be decided whether the bride and groom will make a good pair in future. Not only that, it is also said that if the colour of the mehendi becomes darker by the time, it shows the stronger bonding between the in-laws and the bride.


















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