Mehndi is the traditional art of adorning the hands, feet, or body with a paste made from the dried leaves of the henna plant (Botanical name : Lawsonia Inermis). It naturally darkens the skin to a deep tan-brown color, but the color varies depending on how long the paste is left to set, skin type, temperature, location on the body, and a range of other factors.
Mehndi is the traditional art of adorning the hands, feet, or body with a paste made from the dried leaves of the henna plant (Botanical name : Lawsonia Inermis). It naturally darkens the skin to a deep tan-brown color, but the color varies depending on how long the paste is left to set, skin type, temperature, location on the body, and a range of other factors. Mehndi started in the Middle East and Northern Africa over 5,000 years ago. It has been used for artistic, ritual and ceremonial use.Mehndi is often viewed as a woman's practice though it has indeed been practiced by men. Henna was first applied, via a dot on the palm of the hand, as a means to cool down the body. After becoming bored with the look of the single dot on the palm, the early users of henna began to add lines and other shapes. Eventually this elaboration became the beautiful designs we see today. In the different cultures where the practice of Mehndi flourished, different styles and ways of application developed, from the fine lines of Pakistan and India, geometric patterns of Morocco and bold shapes and patterns of various parts of Africa. Today, mehndi is celebrated all over the world, and styles of mehndi are often influenced by modern art and pop culture.
Mehndi Historical Background Mehndi is one of the oldest forms of body art conceived by man. The Hindi and Arabic word Mehendi is derived from a Sanskrit word ‘mendhika’ which referred to the henna plant itself. Reference to uses of henna can be traced back to the Bronze ages. In the bible, henna is referred to a Camphire. In and around the Indian subcontinent, henna has been used as a cosmetic even before Vedic ages. India is considered as the source from where the body art traditions with henna spread to different parts of the world like Egypt, Asia Minor and the Middle East. References of henna during the mummification process of Pharaohs as well as anecdotes of the famous queen Cleopatra using henna to paint her body are well-known in history. Prophet Muhammad is known to use henna paste to color his graying beard and was known to advocate use of henna to others as well. Use of henna is considered immensely auspicious in many traditions around the world, especially within Hindus, who would consider Mehndi part of the customary 16 adornments or Solah Shringaar.
Mehndi is typically applied during special occasions like Weddings and festivals. It is usually drawn on the hands and legs. It is also called Heena. Mehndi designers can be usually found in common markets and beauty parlors in India. Its paste is usually filled in a plastic cone and then applied on body parts.In India, It is used as a form of decoration mainly for bride and groom. Indian weddings will never be complete without Mehndi. It is very common and important for every bride to write the name of her groom on her hands on wedding using Mehndi. The occasion of Mehndi ceremony is often one of the most important pre-wedding rituals. It is a fun filled ritual where everybody dance and enjoy food also. The ceremony is mainly held at the bride’s house or at a banquet hall in the evening day before the marriage. On the occasion, a professional Mehndi Designer applies Mehndi to the bride and groom.