Mehendi – Tradition, Significance & Tips

MehendiIf you are an Indian who is totally into Bollywood movies then you are well-acquainted with this term as well as the stuff we are talking about. Mehendi or Henna, a natural dying agent prepared from the leaves of Henna tree, is applied on the hands of the bride-to-be on a particular day before wedding.  This applying henna on hand occasion is known as Mehendi ceremony, which is considered to be one of the most significant parts of an Indian wedding. So what’s the significance of Mehendi?


Mehendi Ceremony


A significant pre-wedding ceremony, mostly observed in Hindu, Sikh and Muslim weddings, Mehendi ceremony is about applying mehendi on the bride’s hand. Not only the hands, feet are also designed with mehendi. Girls and women of the bride’s family also take part in this joyous ceremony and get their hands colored. There are some communities, where the hands and feet of a groom are also decorated with beautiful designs. In recent times, as the mix-n-match wedding rituals are quite a common and ‘in’ thing in the Indian culture, people of other Hindu communities like Bengalis or South Indians are also fast including this ceremony in their wedding.


The Significance


What makes mehendi such an auspicious part of a wedding ritual is its colour. It is believed that the darker its colour, the more will be the love from the husband and his family. There is another one that says a long-lasting mehendi indicates a long-lasting love of the mother-in-law of the bride. And as most of the rituals of an India wedding have an amusing twist, this mehendi part has an interesting twist. It’s mandatory to include the groom’s name in the intricate design in a way that will make the name not easily noticeable. On the wedding night, the groom is supposed to find out the hidden name in the palms of the bride.  Any failure would result in mock taunting from the young relatives of both sides.


What Does the Science Say About It?


Though at first, the Indian rituals sound vague, if you take a closer look, you will discover that every ritual has its reason rooted deep in logic and science. Mehendi is not an exception. Henna is a herbal medicinal plant with a healing power. When applied on hands and/or feet (where all the nerves end), it gives a cooling effect and make the nerves less-stressed. As the tension and stress of the wedding day sometimes get on the nerves of the bride, it immensely helps her to stay calm. Being an antiseptic agent, it also saves the hand from any bruises or cuts during the ceremony.


How to Get the Darkest Colour?


  • First, wash your hands properly to remove any oils or lotion from the skin.
  • Apply eucalyptus oil on the hands and forearms.
  • Apply henna and wait for it to dry.
  • Next, create a mix of lemon juice and sugar. Keep applying this liquid for the next couple of hours on the hands.
  • Once it’s done, do not wet your hands or wash with soap. Just dust off the dried-out mehendis and rub off the skin with a soft towel. Reapply the eucalyptus oil over the area.
  • For the next 24 hours, keep water out of your hands.

by Durba