Henna, or mehndi, is one of the oldest forms of body art known to man, stretching back over 8,000 years. The application of henna has for centuries been linked with times of joyous celebration, leisure, and togetherness.
Henna is a desert bush, the leaves of which contain a powerful staining molecule. The leaves are dried, ground to a fine powder and mixed with lemon juice and essential oils to form a paste. This paste is then artfully applied to skin, allowing the natural dye to penetrate the topmost layers and resulting in a reddish-brown stain that lasts from 1 to 4 weeks, fading away as the skin naturally exfoliates.
Henna is most commonly associated with the traditional decoration of an desi bride’s hands and feet for her wedding. Mehndi on the hand of the bride is considered so necessary that without Mehndi there is no wedding. Special experts are invited to apply the mehndi. Mehndi ceremony in a desi Wedding mainly includes pre-wedding rituals. It is believed that the darker and deeper the henna stains the more the husband and the in-laws will love her bride. The ritual of mehendi signifies the strength and power of love in a marriage so it is regarded good omen for the would-be bride. It is said that the long the bride retains the mehendi, the more auspicious would be her future. The Mehendi or henna motif is not only the adoration of the bride rather it epitomizes her transformation from a girl to a woman. Popular motifs of the bridal mehendi are flowers, peacock, doli and baraat patterns. The motifs of the bridal henna also hide the husband’s name. It is said that the husband’s name in the henna motifs is made for the groom who has to find out his name in his bride’s mehendi as an evidence of his sharp eyes and active brain to impress his woman.
At festivals such as Eid the majority of women go to the beauty salons for their mehndi.
Massarrat really thinks out of the box! Some of her patterns are really awesome!
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