Hindu weddings are some of the most beautiful celebrations in the world. With their traditions, customs, colors, aromas, and flavors, it's an event full of love, fraternity and symbolism.
Among the main traditions of Hindu weddings is the Mehndi ceremony, which is performed between the bride, her female relatives and close friends.
We tell you more about this beautiful tradition that has been carried out for centuries in Hindu weddings.
What is Mehndi?
The Mehndi is a timeless tradition that forms an important part of Hindu weddings. In it, intricate designs are drawn on the bride's hands and feet using a paste made from the leaves of the henna plant. The mehndi is usually applied by a professional artist, but it can also be done by the bride herself or her friends and family.
The Mehndi ceremony is usually held a few days before the main event and is considered one of the most important pre-wedding rituals. It's a joyous occasion that celebrates the femininity of the bride and brings her luck, fertility, and emotional peace.
Only women participate in the Mehndi, and the bride's friends and relatives are welcome to also paint their hands and feet with henna. The bride's designs are the most elaborate, and she must be careful that the henna is set deep into the skin, because, according to Hindu beliefs, the darker and longer it stays on her skin, the stronger the love between her and her husband will be.
Photo: Paradise Weddings
History of Mehndi
The tradition of applying Mehndi to the hands of the bride is believed to have its origins in ancient Egypt, where it was used to ward off evil spirits. Its practice spread to India during the Mughal period and has been an important part of Hindu weddings ever since.
The designs used in Mehndi vary by culture, but in India, they're often intricate designs of dense foliage and paisley shapes. These designs symbolize fertility, luck, and love.
Over time, the Mehndi has become more and more popular in Western cultures as well.
How is Mehndi Traditionally Done?
Traditionally, the Mehndi is applied by a professional artist, although the bride can also choose to do it herself or have her friends or family do it for her. Either way, the paste is allowed time to dry and then the henna is rubbed off the skin, leaving a temporary stain on the skin.
During the Mehndi ceremony, friends and relatives often sing songs, dance, and have a great time with the bride!
Photo: MNM Photography
Why is the Mehndi Ceremony Performed?
The Mehndi is believed to bring good luck and fertility to the bride. The darker the color of the Mehndi, the more luck it brings to the bride.
Not to mention, the Mehndi is said to have healing properties. It's thought to help soothe sore muscles and reduce inflammation, as well as bring emotional stability and joy to the bride.
For all this, being part of the Mehndi ceremony is an act of love and solidarity toward the bride.
How can you integrate Mehndi into your wedding festivities?
If you're planning an Indian wedding, integrating the Mehndi into the festivities is an important part of the celebration. The first step is to choose a Mehndi artist who knows how to create complex yet beautiful designs. It's advisable to know her level of experience and the style of her work before booking.
On the wedding day, be sure to allow enough time for the artist to apply the Mehndi to you and your guests. If you want to make the ceremony extra special, you can hand out gifts, sing songs, and dance to traditional Indian music.
Photo: MNM Photography
If you need help organizing your Hindu wedding, at Velas Weddings we not only have specialized wedding planners but also work hand-in-hand with the experts at Shaadi destinations —our preferred partner for such celebrations— so that even the smallest detail of every tradition and of your wedding festivities are taken care of.
Contact us to see our beautiful wedding venues on the beach and to talk about everything we can offer you for your big day.
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