If you have ever been to an Indian wedding then you have probably seen the bride being adorned with mehendi or henna – a beautiful reddish dye that embellishes the bride’s hands and feet. Ever since the Mughals brought mehendi to India in the 12th century AD, it’s use has spread, making it an essential part of every hindu marriage ceremony. Mehendi is considered blessed and lucky and it is thought that the deeper and darker the color of the mehendi, the more prosperity the bride will bring to the marriage. It is for this reason that hindu brides will often sit for almost eight hours waiting for the paste to dry to bring out the richness of the color!
Oftentimes, the mehendi artist will hide the groom’s name in the design. On the wedding night, if the groom fails to find his name in the pattern, it is believed that the bride will be more dominant in the marriage! Now that’s an incentive to have a well hidden name!
The modern day mehendi ceremony is filled with family and friends getting together and celebrating. The women – guests/friends/family members alike line up to also get mehendi done for themselves..although not as intricate as the bride’s!
Here are some tips to ensure that you enjoy your mehendi ceremony:
1) Get your manicure done the day before — Mehendi takes a few days for the color to sink it. Getting the manicure after the mehendi is applied will affect the richness of the color. So pamper yourself and get a nice, relaxing massage of your hands and feet before applying the mehendi design!
2)No oils on your skin –Your skin should be well moisturized, but do not put any oils on your skin before applying the mehendi
3) Get your mehendi applied before the actual mehendi party- this allows you to be stress free at your own celebration and gives you the ability to mingle and watch as others get their mehendi applied. Also, everyone will admire your beautiful design!
4) After the mehendi is applied –soak the dry paste with a mixture of lemon and sugar. The mehendi should be left on for about 6-8 hours. Then scrape off the mehendi with a blunt object. Do not wash the areas with water for at least 24 hours. Avoid all chlorinated products and anything alkaline (of course this no longer applies on the honeymoon!)
Hopefully these simple tips will bring out the vibrant colors of your mehendi design and bring lasting prosperity to your marriage!