Henna is a major part of wedding ceremonies in Asian and Middle Eastern countries. If you have ever had the chance of attending a wedding in India, Pakistan, Morocco or any other country the area you must have noticed the pretty oriental designs on the hands of female guests, relatives and even the bride. These are henna designs or mehndi.
Henna is an all-natural paste made from crushed henna leaves. Traditionally, henna is used to decorate the hands of a bride for a wedding ceremony. A mehndi party is hosted before the wedding where all female friends and family of the bride get their hands decorated with exotic henna designs. There are several distinct styles and henna patterns to choose from. Here are a few popular styles –
Lines, Vines and Floral Patterns
Arabic style mehndi is dominated by floral designs. Its appeal lies in the delicate patterns created by beads, vines and flower petals. Unlike other styles Arabic henna designs are all about focusing the design towards the centre and the fingers as opposed to filling up space.
Intricate Indian reds
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In India, bridal mehndi is a network of patterns that fill the entire hand. In contrast with the Arabic style, Indian henna designs are all about covering the whole hand, sometimes the arms up to the elbows in traditional patterns. Some designs even incorporate animal structures like peacock feathers. Once the mehndi dries, it crumbles and is removed to reveal the reddish-orange hue on the skin.
Moroccan Henna Pattern. Image Source: Henna Lounge
Moroccan henna is by far the most distinct. It moves away from flowers, paisley and animal details and uses geometric shapes instead.
Adorning henna in its traditional sense is used as a medium of self-expression and beautifying the bride before the marriage ceremony. In many cultures the henna artist puts in the name of the groom within the bride’s mehndi pattern. There is a popular belief that the more the henna darkens, the luckier the bride is in attaining a happy married life.
More recently, henna styles have evolved. Here are a few trends in henna or henna tattoos as they are called-
Moving away from bridal red
As the popularity of henna increases we now have white henna that could suit both darker skin tones and the westerners’ bridal ensemble.
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Glitter takes henna designs to the next level. Making your henna shine, drawing attention to the stunning designs seems to be the hottest trend.
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Passed down from ancient cultures, henna is now a symbol of celebration, vanity and beauty. With henna making its way into popular trends, it is safe to assume that it will not be going out of fashion anytime soon.