Mehndi Designs image Pakistani Indian
Mehndi or “Mehendi” or henna is a paste that is bought in a cone-shaped tube and is made into designs for men and women. Mehndi is derived from the Sanskrit word mendhikā. The use of mehndi and turmeric is described in the earliest Hindu Vedic ritual books. It was originally used for only women’s palms and sometimes for men, but as time progressed, it was more common for women to wear it. Haldi (staining oneself with turmeric paste) as well as mehndi are Vedic customs, intended to be a symbolic representation of the outer and the inner sun.
There are many variations and types in mehndi designs which are categorized, such as Arabic mehndi designs, Indian mehndi designs, and Pakistani mehndi designs. Women usually apply variations of henna or mehndi design patterns on their hands and feet.
Mehndi is the local variant of henna designs in India and neighboring countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, women use mehndi for festive occasions, such as weddings, religious events and traditional ceremonies.
Practiced mainly in India and Pakistan, mehndi or henna is the application of as a temporary form of skin decoration, popularized in the West by Indian cinema and entertainment industry, the people in Nepal, Bangladesh and the Maldives also use mehndi. Mehndi decorations became fashionable in the West in the late 1990s, where they are called henna tattoos.
Muslims in Pakistan also started to use it as an indication of coming of age. In the Middle East and Africa, it is common for women to apply henna to their fingernails and toenails and to their hands.
Traditional Pakistani and Hindu or Sikh/Punjabi Weddings in India can often be long, ritualistic, and elaborate affairs with many pre-wedding, wedding and post wedding ceremonies. Different countries and regions of a country celebrate the ceremonies in different ways according to their own marriage customs, rituals, and culture.
In Pakistan, the Mehndi is often one of the most important pre-wedding ceremonies, which is celebrated mainly by the bride’s family. In Bangladesh, the Mehndi ceremony has traditionally been separated into two events; one organized by the bride’s family and one, by the groom’s family. Mehndi ceremonies take place outside India, Pakistan and Bangladesh amongst the South Asian community and places like Birmingham in the UK are such known hotspots for lavish Mehndi celebrations. Henna was first used by Egyptians’ using mud to create patterns and this is where it originated from.