Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mehndi (Henna)

Event # 4: Mehndi (covering the both men and women side)

Mehndi, the Henna ceremony, or the Rasm-e-henna ceremony, typically takes place one or two days prior to the main wedding day. The event is traditionally held separately for the bride and the groom but recent years it is organized together. 

The bride normally wears a green dress or yellows/orange for the Henna celebration and uses only light, or mostly, no make-up. The groom will typically wear a casual Shalwar Qameez. The bride and/or the groom are brought forward in the ceremony under a decorative dupatta by their close relatives. In the bridal ceremony, a certain number of married women who are closely related to the bride apply henna to her hands, and feed her sweets. This ritual is supposed to bring good luck and longevity to the bride's married life. Similarly, on the groom's side, oil is applied to his head and sweets are fed to the groom.

A song competition also occurs in the Rasme Henna or Mehndi celebrations between the bride and groom's side. Young women and men will sing teasing songs about the other side (where the bride's side pokes good natured fun at the groom's side and vice versa) and try to compete in this ritual sing song. Sometimes elaborate musical and acting performances are part of the Mehndi celebrations. Elaborate dance sequences and competitions between the bride and groom's families are also quite common these days.

Traditionally, the Mehndi was considered a women's event and men did not participate in it. The sing song etc. was left almost entirely to women. However, this has changed substantially in recent times with males featuring prominently in the Mehndi celebrations as well. A recent trend gaining popularity is to announce a colour theme for the mehndi whereby guests are supposed to dress up in a particular colour. Commonly used colours are bright reds, oranges and yellows.

example of a Mehndi hall

Another example of the Mehndi Hall

All excited


Another Example of the hall

Mehndi placed in the decorated bowls

Mehndi placed

Mehndi hall example

Ceremony where people are putting Henna on the bride's hand.

Henna, sweets, and various other things.

Another example of the Mehndi hall
Another one of the hall

Some Examples of the Mehndi (Henna) on the brides hand.

Henna on the bride's feet

Henna on the bride's hand

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