Wedding ceremony in India is considered to be one of the major milestones achieved by any family. It is a complete 7 days festival in any typical Indian household. Weddings in the country, irrespective of caste, creed or religion are celebrated with the same enthusiasm. As much as the family is happy with the celebration, it is a time consuming and tiresome job to organize one. But the tiredness goes away during one ceremony and that’s the Mehendi ceremony. During this ceremony, the family gets a chance to relax and enjoy their heart out.
The Mehendi ceremony is celebrated by the bride’s family. Often the Mehendi comes from the groom’s familyalong with gifts for the bride in the form of dresses, jewelry, and some cash. The family of the bride also receives gifts from the groom’s family. It is one of the auspicious ceremonies of the wedding, especially in Hindus where the application on Mehandi is considered to be one of the solah (sixteen) shringar.
Mehendi Ceremony: A pre-wedding ritual
Origin and history
1. Mehendi is one of the oldest forms of body art conceived by man. India plays a key player in Mehandi applications as well as production. From our country, the tradition of body art from Mehandi was spread in Egypt, Morocco, and Asia Minor. Mehendi is made from a paste of fine dust particles of Henna Leaves. Henna leaves are cultivated in countries with the hot climate like India, Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia, and Morocco. Various other Indian festivals like Diwali, Karva Chauth, Rakhi, and Teej also witness massive Mehendi application in the hands of women and girls.
Mehendi designers from outside come and apply it on the bride’s arms and legs as well as on the hands of the family members. The ceremony was earlier attended only by women of the house but now is enjoyed by all family members.
2. Mehendi ceremony is often accompanied by dance performances by the siblings of the bride and relatives. There are various Indian snacks that are offered to the relatives during the ceremony.
3. It is said that the face of the bride and groom should be drawn on the bride’s hand along with the Mehendi design. Later, during the wedding, the groom should look for it, then only the ceremony would be considered to be completed. Often the face is replaced with the name of the groom that has to be searched by the groom in the henna design drawn on the bride’s palm.
4. If the Mehendi stain stays long on the bride’s hand, it is often said that the bridewould be forever loved by her husband. The stain has to be dark too for this assumption. From a scientific point of view, Henna is a cooling agent which is said to cool the already nervous bride nerves and relax her mind and body.
5. For someone who has not applied Mehendiduring her life, it is essential to apply to a small area on the arm to test for its allergy two-three months prior the wedding. This would save the bride from last minute skin allergies.
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