Bridal Mehndi Designs
Wedding is an elaborate affair in India, comprising of a large
number of rituals, customs and traditions. One of the important
rituals, especially in context of the bride, comprises of 'Mehndi'
(commonly known as henna). As a part of this ritual, the powder of
henna leaves is mixed with water (and many-a-times, oil and lemon
juice as well), to form a paste. This paste is then applied on the
hands as well as the feet of the bride, in the form of intricate
patterns. The henna is removed only after the design dries off
completely. However, the bride cannot wash her hands and feet with
water, for the next 12 hours at least, to make sure that the color
comes out to be dark and rich.
Significance of Bridal Mehendi
In context of an Indian bride, mehndi is believed to signify the
strength of her marriage as well as the amount of love that she will
receive in her husband's house. In fact, it is said that the darker
the color of the mehendi (on the hands and the feet of a bride), the
stronger will be the marriage and longer it will last. At the same
time, the dark color of henna is also said to mean that the bride
will receive a lot of love from her husband as well as her in-laws.
This is the reason why, after the application of bridal henna
designs, the bride undertakes a lot of efforts, like applying oil or
heat, to ensure that the color is dark. The application of henna, on
the bride's hands and feet, is also considered to be auspicious.
Bridal Mehendi Designs & Patterns
Amongst the traditional henna designs, drawn on the hands and feet
of a bride, one can include the 'baraat' scene and the 'doli' scene.
Baraat is the term used to denote the procession of the groom,
including all his family members, relatives and friends, before he
arrives at the wedding venue. 'Doli' signifies the end of a wedding
ceremony, when the bride goes away with her husband. Both of these
designs are extremely intricate and involve long hours of labor.
Apart from that, the common bridal mehendi designs include peacock,
kalash, flowers, leaves and conch-shells. Whatever be the design,
drawing images of the bride and groom, as well writing the groom's
name, on bride's hands, is compulsory.
With the changing times, the type as well as style of bridal mehndi
has also undergone a vast change. Rather than the traditional mehndi
(made from henna leaves), brides have started opting for tattoo
mehendi, chemical mehendi, stone mehendi and even sparkle mehendi.
In these types of mehndi, altogether different designs are used and
accessories like tattoos, sparkles and stones are added to make
eye-catching patterns. Some other henna concepts that one can find
in the present times include zardozi mehndi, nail paint mehndi and
poster color mehndi. One of the main reason brides are opting for
the new styles is that their application takes much lesser time and
they do not require hours of drying.
Initially, mehendi used to comprise of a small ceremony, in which
only the close female relatives and the friends of the bride were
invited, along with the family members. They used to apply mehendi
on the hands of the bride as well as each other. In the present
times, the ceremony has undergone a lot of change. Now, men have
also become a part of the ceremony, where the guest list includes
almost all the people who are invited to the wedding. Professionals
are called in, to apply henna to the bride as well as the guests.
Drinks, an elaborate dinner and a rocking DJ form the other aspects
of the present-day mehendi ceremony.
Henna, also known as Heena, is a form of body
art that has existed since times immemorial. Not only in India,
but in countries like Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Morocco,
Yemen, etc, henna has been a popular form of traditional body
art and design. This form of body design is also known as
Mehndi, especially in the Asian countries like
India. It is used for numerous purposes, as a mode of personal
expression, for religious occasion, as a part of social
functions, for healing purposes, etc.
Henna in Contemporary World
The current trend of globalization has led to
the opening of the national boundaries. With this, cultural
integration has taken place and the practice of applying henna
has crossed borders. Infact, the traditional practice has today
acquired new interpretations and uses. Famous celebrities of
U.S.A. and Europe, including artists, actors, models, singers,
pop stars and musicians, have started patronizing the use of
henna, along with that of its traditional designs. Foreign going
to Asian countries look for places where they can get mehndi
Popular Henna Patterns and Designs
Though there are no set patterns or designs
for Henna, there are some popular designs that have been
followed since ages. One of the most popular designs is that of
a checkerboard. The outline is usually in the shape of a ‘Paan’
leaf and square boxes are drawn intricately inside. Then
alternate boxes are filled with henna thus giving the look of a
checkerboard. Another popular pattern is a lovely peacock, with
the sharp and curved beak and the corona on the head. Some
people also go in for partial designs. This means that a
beautiful creeper with flower patterns and leaves are drawn from
the index finger to the wrist, the entire palm is not filled
Why is Henna Popular
The best aspect of heena is that it is
totally natural, made from Lawsonia Inermis
plant. Its leaves are first dried and then,
crushed to make a fine powder. While applying, the powder is
mixed with water. This makes heena totally safe to use. Along
with that, its application is totally painless and the effect is
temporary. You can use henna to get tattoos, without worrying
about pain or infection. In case you are not satisfied with a
particular tattoo, just wait for a few days. Its color will soon
wash off and you can easily go for another design.
Benefits of Henna
Apart from this, mehndi has a number of other
beneficial effects too. It cools the skin and is also used for
coloring, cleansing as well as conditioning hair. Lawsonia
Inermis (henna) plant grows in areas with a climate. One can
easily find this plant in counties like Iran, Pakistan, Syria,
Morocco, Yemen, Egypt, Uganda, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Senegal,
Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and India. The other names by which
the plant is known are Henne, Al-Khanna, Jamaica Mignonette,
Egyptian Privet, and Smooth Lawsonia.