Henna in Indian Culture

Henna is used to cleanse the blood and body decoration. Henna is derived from a henna plant. You can grind the plant to create a paste and then mix with water.  In India stores sell pre-made henna where all you do is cut off the tip.

It’s best to apply in circular designs to signify never-ending patterns. It’s a custom used in any festivals and celebrations especially in wedding ceremonies.

The idea is that it lifts the spirit by rejuvenating women and making them happy.

Henna fun fact: The night before an Indian wedding the name of the future husband is hidden among the henna design to be discovered later that night.  Both men and women are adorned with designs on their hands and feet.

In Yemen the henna bridal tradition was intense, as it took 3-5 days to complete.

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Henna has been traced to 400CE.  It was also listed in the famous medical text of Ebers Papyrus that dated to 16th c BCE Egypt.

The earliest text mentioning henna for marriage and fertility celebrations comes from the Ugaritic legend of Baal and Anath which has references of women making themselves with henna in preparation to meet their husbands, and Anath adorning herself with henna to celebrate a victory over the enemies of Baal.

Henna is said to bring blessings and and applied for good luck as well as joy and beauty.

Muslims are also said to use henna for both female and males. Following the prophet Muhammad, who used to dye his beard with henna.  It’s considered to bring fortune and good.

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Steps to do Mehndi ( the art of using henna as body décor)

  1. clean the skin, no oils
  2. start the henna with a design in mind or a beginning point to lead the balance of the look
  3. let it dry ( the longer you leave it to dry the brighter in color it’ll stain

Henna lasts for a few days and to get the bets results mix lemon juice onto the designs. After your done.

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