The importance of Mehndi in Indian marriages
Mehndi (henna) is an important element in Indian weddings. It is one of many wedding rituals perform in every marriage ceremony. Not only in India but also in Pakistan and other south Asian countries have this ritual in wedding ceremonies and other occasions. Mehndi is not only a way of decorating hands and feet during wedding but it carries traditional significance in Indian marriages. If you don’t know about the ritual then let me tell you, not only brides but grooms also put mehndi on their hands during wedding. The importance of Mehndi in Indian marriages is immense. Here I am sharing some points why it is significant.
Mehndi ceremony tales place before the wedding day. Generally it happens before couple of days prior to the main marriage ceremony. In India, people from all the province and religion have this ceremony excluding Christians. The mehndi ceremony is also quite famous in Muslim weddings as well. In this ceremony bride decorates her palms, opposite sides of the palm fingers, feet and lower arms with vibrant designs. The ceremony signifies beauty of the bride, the wedding and also the relationship between the would-be couple.
The design and the meaning
Mehndi has lot of different designs. Designers today pay extra attention to the designs and work of mehndi as people today become more fashionable and trendy. There are designs like Arabic, Floral, Rajasthani, Ancient Royal architectural design and much more. Also nowadays you will see a lot of different colours and sparkles used in mehndi. Mehndi in marriages carry diverse meanings that depend on the various designs of Mehndi. Here are some of the symbols and their meanings in mehndi:
- Flowers – happiness and joyful relationship
- Butterflies – signifies transformation from good to better
- Parrots – love messenger who carries the message of love
- Fishes – women’s eyes full of love
- Swan – successful relationship
- A bud – signifies a new beginning
- Peacock – beauty of the relation
- Square of chequered design – protective and healing
These are some of the many designs that I have picked and mentioned their meanings. There are other designs as well like Arabic and Elephant motifs which signify prosperity and royal marriage respectively.
Other significance and the colour
Mehndi has immense significance of its colour. More the colour signifies deeper bonding between the bride and the groom. It is believed that mehndi colour decides whether the groom will love the bride after marriage or not. Some also said the colour shows the relationship and bonding between the mother-in-law and the bride. Some of the important points about colour of mehndi are
- Darker the colour, deeper the love and bonding between the bride and the groom.
- Longer the mehndi remains on hands, more happiness will come between the newly wedded birdies.
- Darker the colour of the mehndi, stronger the bonding between in-laws, especially mom-in-law and the newly bride
Groom’s name in mehndi
In Indian marriages the letters of the name of the groom (sometimes the initials) are written across the mehndi designs. It is another fun-filled ritual that takes place when the groom has to find his name and initials in bride’s mehndi. The designer intentionally hides it so that groom gets lost in finding it. It is not a mandatory ritual though but definitely it brings the bride and groom closer and create a lovely moment between the two.
Mehndi in other occasions
As mentioned mehndi itself signifies beauty, it is used in all holy occasions in India. Be it a marriage or Deewali or any fast (Vrat), mehndi signifies joy and colour.
Importance of mehndi – quick glance
|Application of mehndi on hands||What it shows|
|On palms||Images like flowers show openness and ready to start afresh|
|On back of the palm||Protective and defending about the relationship|
|Feet||Shows the contact and strong relationship|