Significance of the Mehendi Ceremony

Among the pre-wedding festivities observed in Hindu wedding, one of the most important ceremonies is the mehendi ceremony – so much that it has transcended regional barriers and is now observed all over the country. The ceremony involves application of henna or mehendi in intricate patterns on the hands and feet of the bride. Mehendi is even applied on the palms of the grooms in a token design.

Many believe that the mehendi ceremony is only about calling over mehendi artists to make beautiful patterns for the bride and her family. But that is not all. The mehendi ceremony has deeply rooted cultural and practical significance which we will talk about today.

Cultural Significance of the Mehendi Ceremony

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It is said that deeper the colour of the mehendi, the stronger the bond between the couple and also between the bride and her mother-in-law. So every bride prays for a darker stain as she readies for her mehendi ceremony. Also, mehendi is considered to be an integral part of the ‘Solah Singaar’ or the 16 adornments that complete the bridal attire. So it is almost impossible to find a bride who does not have mehendi on her hands on the day of her wedding.

In many communities, the name of the groom is woven in an intricate design on the bride’s hands and the groom is asked to look for it after the wedding. It worked as a great exercise to build intimacy between the couple – a ritual that had a lot of significance in the days of the yore, when the bride and the groom would meet for the first time during the wedding.

Practical Significance of the Mehendi Ceremony

The mehendi ceremony takes place amidst music, dance and fun, thereby giving the bride’s family a reprieve from all the tension that has been building up as a part of the wedding preparations. Not just this, the mehendi that is applied works as a stress reliever for it has a proven ability to cool down the body. Mehendi also is an antiseptic and helps ward off many unwanted health problems just before the wedding. What’s more, it even improves circulation, thereby improving your general well-being. So what’s not to love about applying mehendi then?

The ceremony is held a couple of nights before the wedding, giving enough time for the mehendi stain to gain in strength so that it is a deep shade of crimson on the day of the wedding. There is nothing more beautiful than a blushing bride with mehendi on her hands and feet. The bliss that the ceremony brings is a precursor to the many joys of marital life, making the mehendi ceremony an event for the entire family to look forward to.

Image credit: Antrim and Spruce Photography