Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Mehendi ki Raat


A colour illustrating love, a fragrance to blossom upcoming life, a celebration depicting immense happiness and a trust to tie a knot of completeness...
Indian weddings are never accomplished without this prodigiously lavishing ceremony. Oodles of laughter shared with this ritual accompanied with *shudh desi* music. It gives a feeling of endurance, commitment, loyalty and a step forward to experience a soothing emotion.

Importance of the ceremony

It is one of the most important and significant ritual performed before the wedding. This ceremony not only unites bride and the groom but also the families and friends. The Mehndi event is a colourful and fun celebration held the night before the *Sangeet*, which is traditionally celebrated by the women on the bride’s side of the family. Generally, a professional Mehndi artist or relative will apply henna in intricate designs to the hands and feet of the bride and other women in the family. These intricate designs symbolize happiness, pulchritude, spiritual awakening, offering and delicacy. The bride’s Mehndi sometimes goes half way to her knees.

The groom also applies henna according to the beliefs in some communities. It actually signifies the level of compassion and warmth provided by the groom.

Ideologies behind the concept...
The most common idea related to Mehndi is its colour. It is strongly believed that darker it is, the more the bride would be loved by her husband and in-laws. Another associated aspect is that the longer the Mehndi stays, the more she is honoured and admired by her mother-in-law. The designs generally include the name of the groom which is scattered in tits and bits all over the curved and twisted designs, to be found by the groom before the wedding night.


Amidst all the fun and laughter, the actual importance is often lost which is followed from medieval times. Other than adding a tinge of colour to the hands and feet, the henna leaves have immense medicinal and healing powers which soothes and plays a vital role in enhancing the beatitude. 

Weddings, undeniably is a period of stress, tension and dilemma which creates an unwanted mess at times. Applying of Mehndi on the hands and feet helps in keeping the nerve-endings cool, which in turn keeps the stress at bay. Mehndi also acts as an antiseptic agent; thus, keeping the bride free from viral diseases, cuts and bruises around the wedding. Application of Mehndi also improves blood circulation. Thus, the practice of applying Mehndi was to keep the bride-to-be hale, hearty and as fresh as a rose is.

During weddings, the Mehndi paste is further enhanced with the use of eucalyptus oil, clove oil, lemon juice and sugar. These oils not only enhance an aroma in the mixture but also add in the healing powers. In addition to all these health benefits, the fragrance of the Mehndi acts as a powerful aphrodisiac. Hence, its significance during weddings and thereafter is definitely preferable.
A part of the wedding which should and can never be missed or overlapped. How charismatically people get together because of these little celebrations and share a beautiful emotion to a heavenly start. Some smiles and rituals should definitely be contagious. Keep smiling.

                                                                  Happy Mehndi
Swatii Chandak

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