Mehndi is a ceremonial art form, originated in ancient India. Intricate mehndi designs are generally applied to brides before wedding ceremonies. The celebrations vary according to the customs, rituals, and culture of different countries and regions.
Traditional Hindu Weddings are often long, ritualistic, and elaborate. There can be many pre-wedding and post wedding ceremonies. The ceremony is primarily held at the bride’s house or at a banquet hall a few days before or the eve of the marriage. The events can be organized for the bride’s and groom’s families celebrate separately, or it may be organized and attended by both the bride and groom, in which a mehndi artist applies mehndi to the bride’s hands and feet. The designs are very intricate and often contain the initials of the groom hidden within the mehndi pattern.
Henna is also popular in Islamic culture. In the Middle East and Africa, it is common for women to apply henna to their fingernails, toenails, hands, and feet. The night before the wedding night is called “Henna night;” in which the bride is adorned with henna to celebrate her wedding. The bride and her close friends are decorated with henna.
In Western countries, it has become a popular alternative to a ‘hen party.’ Some families have “Mehndi nights”, or “henna nights”, similar to the ones in the Middle Eastern and African countries.