Mehndi is an inseparable and essential part of every Indian wedding, so much so that the entire concept of an Indian wedding is often referred to as “haathh peele karna” which literally translates to applying mehndi (henna) on the hands of a girl. The phrase is often used to indicate that marriage has been fixed or has already taken place.
Well, almost every Indian community, be it Parsis, Muslims, Gujaratis, Marwaris, Punjabis, Sikhs, Marathis etc. uses henna to decorate the hands of a bride. In fact, in many of the regions henna is applied on to the hands of the grooms.
Designs, figures of gods, vines and several types of designs are made using mehndi. The ceremony is held just a few days (often a couple of days or so) before the wedding. It is said that the darker the colour of the mehndi, the more love and affection will a bride receive at her new house.
Mehndi is usually applied on the hands and legs of the bride. It has become quite common these days to have mehndi designs extending from palm to just below the shoulders and on the legs up to the knees starting from the feet.
Almost every woman from both family gets mehndi on her hand. It usually is an all ladies affair with lots of traditional as well as modern songs being sung at the time of mehndi. In several regions of India, mehndi is still given by the groom’s family, especially in parts of Punjab.
While traditionally it was applied by a relative or a friend of the bride, these days professional henna tattoo artists should be hired.
Make sure you book the mehndi artist well in advance so that you don’t have to run around or settle for a lesser skilled artist at the last moment.
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