We’ve filmed a number of Indian weddings this summer and there are a few moments in the pre-ceremony activities that stand out, especially the mehndi ceremony. The mehndi, or henna ceremony, is one of the most fun and integral of indian pre-wedding rituals. Mehndi has powerful medicinal effects and said to strengthen the bond between the new couple.
THE MEHNDI CEREMONY
The ceremony is organized for the the bride with her closest female friends and family. It takes place the evening before the wedding. The mehndi is applied with a cone in elaborate designs primarily over the bride’s hands and feet. After 14-20 minutes, the mehndi will start to dry and crack so water and lemon juice are applied to help the henna stain darker, which representative of a deeper bond with her partner. It is then worn for several hours before being removed. The entire process can take up to several hours.
WHAT’S IN IT?
Mehndi is made from henna leaves that are ground into a fine powered and then mixed with water, eucalyptus oil, and a bit of clove and lemon. The added oils and herbs help improve the medicinal properties of the henna as well as the smell which is highly therapeutic in the initial days of the wedding.
SERIOUSLY AWESOME HEATH BENEFITS
Mehendi is known for its medicinal properties. It has a cooling effect that aids in soothing stress and headaches. Mehendi is applied to relieve the bride and groom of all the wedding stress. The cooling effects of the drying mehndi help calm the nerves of the bride-to-be feels really nice, especially when it’s hot outside. Mehndi is also an antiseptic. The Mehndi helps improve blood circulation and promotes general health. It is applied to the hands and feet to target nerve endings in the body. The ceremony helps shield and protect couples to keep them healthy before their wedding. The application process is relaxing and nourishing.
MEANINGS & CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE
The designs that stain the skin represents the bond between the bride and groom and their new awakening. The designs are intricate and ornate and drawn primarily on the hands and feet of the bride with small designs also added to the palms of the groom. It represents beauty and elegancy. It is an essential element for every indian bride and representative of a healthy and fulfilling marriage.