Mehendi Celebration India February 2009

Dipani

I went to a Mehendi party last night. There was music, dancing and A LOT of food. It was an experience that I am so glad *to have had*!. It's kind of once in a life time thing. The wedding will be held February 17th and it is going to be an extrAOdinary wedding. I feel so privileged that I GOT to attend.

The Mehendi is fun a filled ritual, which is celebrated mainly by the bride's family. In Hindu culture weddings are no more a small affair with only get together of family members and friends. But it is celebrated in a much more larger canvas than earlier. It is a lavish and elaborate affair nowadays. It is celebrated with equal fun and enthusiasm as the main wedding. Different regions of the country celebrate in different manner according to their own marriage customs, rituals, manner of dress and culture. The celebration also depends on the wealth and status of the people. The bride's family celebrates Mehndi party. The ceremony is mostly held at bride's place or sometimes in a banquet hall on the eve of the marriage ceremony or few days before the marriage. The female relatives and friends of the girl attain the party. It is mostly a ladies party.
Darshini and Dipani Dipani
and sister
Darshini

The female friends and relatives apply turmeric paste on the bride's body and face to bring out the glow in her complexion. A relative or a mehndiwali who knows well to apply mehndi is called to put mehndi on the hands and feet of the bride. The event has a festive feel to it with the women singing and dancing traditional songs on mehndi ritual. The bride is dressed in light color clothes with light jewelry. According to the custom the bride must not step out of the house after the mehendi ritual until her marriage. The bride's female cousins sometimes apply a dot of mehndi on the palm of the groom.

band Band
you can see the
buffet in the background
dancer2 dancers Dancers
Hard to get
a good picture
Darshinni Darshini
danced for
her sister

The mehndi celebration is filled with fun and enjoyment as the family members and friends gathers to celebrate this lovely occasion. Not only the bride apply henna paints on her hand and feet but her friends and relatives also paints their hands with intricate and beautiful designs of henna paste or mehndi. Professional henna artists are hired to painstakingly work out the intricate details and beautiful designs on the bride's hands and feet.

hand painting 3 mehndiwalis
applies mehndi
on the hands
of female family
and friends
of the bride
while they are
being servered food

Traditional bridal patterns include peacocks and paisleys-symbolic of passion. It is believed that the darker and deeper the henna stains the more the mother-in-law will love her new daughter-in-law and her marriage will be a happy one. The stain also depends on the quality of the henna being used. While the henna is applied on the bride's hand and feet rest of the female members sing song and dance to celebrate the occasion. The ritual of mehndi signifies the strength and power of love in a marriage so it is regarded good omen if the bride keeps it as long as possible. The party ends with a dinner party for the family members, relatives and friends.

Simultaneously with mehendi the ritual of haldi is also done in some regions it is called the haldi ceremony where a day before the wedding, haldi paste is applied to the bride by her female relatives and friends. In many castes it is celebrated together with the mehendi ceremony and in some caste it is celebrated a day before the wedding in that case the mehendi ceremony is held a couple of day before the marriage. The haldi ceremony is held in both bride and groom's place. In the groom's house female relatives of the groom apply haldi on him and douse him with water this ritual is meant to sheer the groom of shyness and as a good omen.


India Weddings February 2009