Weddings in India are incomplete without the presence of henna in it. Mehendi or henna is considered auspicious in the Hindu religion and it is believed that even the God and Goddesses used to put mehendi on their hands and feet before getting married and also on other special occasions like Karva Chauth, Vat Purnima, Diwali, Bhai Dooj, Navratri, Durga Pooja and Teej. This ritual is carried forward till date. Moreover, the use of Henna is encouraged in Islam too.
Mehendi is made using a paste, created from the powdered dry leaves of the henna plant. The henna tattoos are made on Bride and Groom’s hand and feet, 2-3 days prior to the wedding, in a ceremony called Mehendi.
This function is held at both the houses of the bride and groom separately. All the family members wear different shades of green including the bride and groom on this day. The people are outsourced for applying Mehendi to all the ladies of the house including the bride and a tiny dot or some other mark is made from henna on Groom’s hand and feet too.
The mehendi designs can be of many types. Bridal mehendi is generally put from the elbow till the palms and also on the backside of the hand and in legs it is made from below the knees covering the whole feet and toes. The bridal mehendi design is usually dense and thick. As per the ritual, the name of the groom is written on the bride’s hand, in between the designs, which he finds on their first night after marriage.
Now, it is a big task for a girl to decide her bridal design, after all, she needs to look perfect from top to bottom on her big day. Here are some designs that you should know about, before your Mehendi function, so that you can choose the one which suits your hand the best.
The Indian Mehendi design is inspired by the elements of nature. The flowers, leaves, peacock and mandala patterns are some common patterns which usually come under the Indian henna art. This type of mehendi design is usually dense and it covers the full hand. Though in the back side of the hand only a bel, i.e. a trail of design is made. The hands look beautiful because of the heavy texture of the design.
This Mehendi art is originated from Arab countries. The pattern of this design is way different from the Indian style. It focuses on boldness, the design may not be a heavy one like the Indian Mehendi but it is subtle. There are spaces left in between the patterns thus highlighting the design next to it. This henna art is turning out to be one of the most popular designs in the world.
This henna art is obviously originated from Pakistan. The design patterns include the symbols of Islamic values and traditions like the star or half-moon, the domes, the doors of mosques, or the Islamic chadar. This mehendi style is quite similar to the Indian style, the hands will look heavy. It's just that Hindu traditional symbols are replaced by the Islamic ones.
This is the combination of both the arts Indian as well as Arabic. The Indian shapes along with the bold lines and clear spaces between them make the hands look prettier than ever before. This fusion work is very much appreciated by the people these days as the Indians can get their traditional patterns done without making the hands look heavy.
This henna tattoo is considered to be unisex, both the bride and groom can make it on their hands. The design basically includes the geometry patterns, tribal shapes and the overall look of the art is in a definite shape like square, rectangle, round and diamond unlike the flowing once. The use of polka dots is quite common in this style.
This design is made with random funky shapes, no religious or cultural value is attached to the design. They are made just like temporary tattoos. The inspiration for making it, can be drawn from anything of the contemporary world. The concept of it is to create something modern and quirky.
This mehendi type is a bit wild and bold as the designs are from African tribal. The flowers, leaves and other symbols are drawn in a fierce way. The lines are deep and dark like the Arabian design. The hand looks crisp and bold with this design. This mehendi design may not suit you on your own wedding day but if you are going to a function or party it will definitely highlight your hand.
This is also a mixture of the arts of two very different worlds. One country has its own traditional value whereas one has the peppiest and modern designs. The freshness of the western world is combined with the heritage of India in the design. The little cultural symbols are drawn delicately, giving it a quirky shape overall. This is the most beautiful and sophisticated form of art.
In this mehendi style the figures of any religious deity or dholki or the portraits of Dulha and Dulhan is made on the hands of the bride. This mehendi design is very much in trend these days. The images are so lively that they are able to depict a complete story by it.
This style of henna can work with the guys too. These are just some designs with an inspiring quote written in some unique style and font. The boys who are getting married can write the name of the bride or can even dedicate a quote to her.
This isn’t the natural henna and is a mere new invention. It is a white paste that acts same like henna when applied. Nobody puts it on at a wedding or other related festivity but it can be applied when going out for a party. It will make you look cool and funky.
These were a list of designs you can opt for. Now, let’s see what all can be done to darken the colour of mehendi.
Wash your hands nicely with some good handwash and see to it that you haven’t used any type moisturizer before applying the mehendi as it will not let the henna soak into your skin and thus the colour won’t darken.
Use Eucalyptus oil after washing your hands. Rub it nicely and absolutely absorb it. And then start putting on the mehendi.
Keep the henna on your hands overnight. It takes a lot of time for it to get into your skin completely.
After the henna art gets completely dry, make syrup of lemon and sugar and apply it on your hands with the help of a cotton ball.
One more thing which is useful in darkening the mehendi is the heat of the cloves. You simply need to take a fry pan and heat up a few cloves in it. And let the heat of those cloves absorb into your hands.
Some people also apply vicks and it certainly does help in darkening the henna.
And the oldest trick is to apply pickle oil or the mustard oil.
Note that the beauty treatments like waxing or de-tan should be done before applying the mehendi as it could lighten its shade.
So, this is all you should know about mehendi. Whichever design you choose, keep these tips and tricks in mind and you are sure to have the most awesomely decorated hands at your wedding.