Significance of Mehndi in Indian Culture

Significance of Mehndi in Indian Culture.jpg

Mehndi is basically a natural dye which leaves a dark stain when applied for longer times and many western nations use it as ink for temporary tattoos. Mehndi is sported mainly by women not only in India but also is prevalent in many neighboring countries like in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

Mehndi is one of the sixteen adornments (solah shringaar) that the bride has to sport on the day of her wedding.

History Of Mehndi

The word mehndi is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Mehndika’ which is the name for the mehndi plant in Sanskrit as well.

The oldest reference date back to 1000s of years, even before the Vedic times and is believed to be used as a cosmetic. The art of applying mehendi to the hands and other parts of the body spread across the world originating from India.

The Greek queen Cleopatra used to tint her nails and also applied mehndi on the body. Even Prophet Muhammad used the henna paste to die his graying beard. Hence the use of mehndi became really popular very quickly around the world.

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Importance Of Bridal Mehandi

Wearing mehndi on the day of the wedding by the bride is considered to be auspicious and it is a common belief that it will bring good luck and wealth and prosperity to her in-law’s house.

It is also a common belief that the darker color of mehandi symbolizes that there is deep love between the bride and the groom.

The time taken by the mehandi to fade off from the hands and the legs also has its importance and it is considered that longer the mehndi stains last the more prosperity it will bring to the family.

Applying mehendi to the hands of the bride and the bridegroom is a tradition that is prevalent in various countries for many centuries now.

On the hands and the legs of the bride, elaborate patterns are made with the henna while on the groom’s hand it is applied as a keepsake and is considered a mark of good omen.

Medicinal Uses

Mehndi is used as a natural dye to color the hair and also has various medicinal uses. Mehndi has cooling properties and is used to soothe the burn wounds and help relax the body. In olden days mehndi was also used to cure fevers and headaches.

These medicinal qualities of mehndi are believed to relieve the bride and the groom of any stress and keep them away from any disease. Mehendi is also known to promote the growth of nails.

Mehendi Ceremony

The mehandi ceremony is an important part of Indian weddings and is usually organized a day or two prior to the main wedding ceremony at the groom’s and bride’s residences separately.

This ceremony is a women-centric and all the women in the family gather together to apply mehndi to their hands. The attire is usually simple for the ceremony with the bride sporting a salwar suit and the groom sporting a comfortable kurta pajama.

The henna for the bride usually comes from the groom’s side along with various kinds of sweets and dry fruits as well. While the mehndi is applied to the hands and feet of the bride, all the women sing old traditional songs and give blessings to the bride and the groom.

Among the various ceremonies that are part of the Indian weddings, the mehendi ceremony is one of the most prominent ones. Over the years, mehandi has become an integral part of the Indian culture and a wedding is incomplete without it.

You can easily hire a good mehndi artist in Ahmedabad who has experience of applying mehndi at various weddings and knows all the trendiest of the patterns.

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