Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mehndi : Henna Designs

For more information contact Mala Chandrashekhar at 

(All images in this post are the property of their respective owners. My deepest sense of gratitude to all of them for making this gigantic project a reality )

Mehndi is the application of henna as a temporary form of skin decoration in India. This art is practised in Pakistan, Bangladesh, & Nepal as well.. The word Mehndi is derived from the Sanskrit word Mendhikā.The use of Mehndi and turmeric is described in the earliest Hindu Vedic ritual books. Haldi (staining oneself with turmeric paste) as well as Mehndi are Vedic customs. Vedic customs are centered around the idea of awakening the inner light.

Mehndi decorations became fashionable in the West in the late 1990s, where they are sometimes called henna tattoo. Henna is typically applied during special occasions like wedding & Hindu festivals like Karva Chauth, Diwali, Bhaidooj and Teej and Muslim festivals like Eid. Many women have Henna applied to their hands and feet during these special occassions. Henna was originally used as a form of decoration mainly for brides.

Intricate patterns of Mehndi are typically applied to the brides before wedding ceremonies. The bridegroom is also painted with henna in some parts of India. In Rajasthan, the grooms are given designs that are often as elaborate as those for brides. In Assam, apart from marriage, it is broadly used by unmarried women during Rongali bihu.


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