Celebrated by the Bride’s family, the Mehendi Ceremony is an amusing ritual observance that derives its origin from the Traditional Indian customs. In this ceremony, Mehendi is put in the hands and feet of the bride, in beautiful and intricate designs, especially done with the help of an expert. Mehendi mainly consists of henna paste.
The entire ritual of Mehendi Ceremony has a deeper significance. It signifies love in a marriage and it is highly auspicious if the bride is able to retain her Mehendi for a longer time, since this indicates more love from her husband. The Mehendi Ceremony is accompanied with great merriment and dancing and the females take a major role in Mehendi Ceremony. Held before a couple of days before marriage, this function is lit up by the colorful dresses, vibrant music, enthusiastic dance and pulsating instrumentals that make it all the more charming.
Mehendi is prepared from dust obtained from finely chopped Henna Leaves. After the Wedding, the bride is not allowed to perform any house work until all the Henna has melted away. It is said that in the Mehendi ceremony the picture of both the bride as well as the groom are drawn over the hands and feet of the bride, and the groom should look for it. Till then, the marriage does not commence.
Henna otherwise called Hawsonia inermis, is alternately called Henne; the various forms are Al-Khanna, Al-henna, Jamaica Mignonette, Mendee, Egyptian Privet, and Smooth Lawsonia. In some other festivals like Karva Chauth, Gangaur, Teej, Holi, Rakhi and Diwali Mehendi is also used.
It is generally grown in hot climates and is abundantly available in India, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Malaysia, Persia, Sudan and other North African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The entire plant with its twigs, flowers, leaves are chopped into pieces and afterwards made in form of powder. Hot water is then added to it. On adding Tea, coffee, cloves, tamarind, lemon, sugar various hues are obtained which is strengthened by using different oils. This Henna is used in the Mehendi Ceremony in India.
In ancient countries, Henna was used as a cosmetic. It was also well known for its healing properties. While some documentation proves the presence of Henna is some prehistoric Indian texts, some of the images that have been discovered so far indicate that Henna is also used in art form in order to ensure that the oil colors do not fade away with the gradual passage of time. By some historians however, Henna’s origin was exclusively due to the advent of the Moguls in the 12th Century C.E., who brought with them the exotic Henna cult. Henna was also used by Pharaohs prior to their mummification.
Truly enough, Mehendi Ceremony is one of the earliest Wedding ceremonies in India, which is the most grand of all the Pre Wedding Ceremonies.