5 Significance of Mehndi in Indian culture

Significance of Mehndi in Indian culture

Mehandi has a very important role in Hindu culture. It is used by Indians since ancient times. It was used for beauty and healing purposes. Many elaborate rituals were built around the practice of applying mehandi to the skin. The art of mehandi is thousands of years old in India.

Significance of Mehndi in Indian culture
Significance of Mehndi in Indian culture
  • Beliefs associated with mehandi

It is believed that the colour of the mehandi signifies love. The darker the colour, the more love the bride will get from his husband and in-laws. It is a sign of the attachment and affection between the couples. The Indians believe that mehandi colour should retain on the skin for a longer time. It implies that the love and trust between the couple will hold for long.

  • Health is at the heart of it all

Mehandi is not only important because of the belief systems. It has healing properties. Mehandi is known to cure fever. The wedding time is usually full of stress. Many brides and grooms develop anxiety, fever and other viral problems during this time. Mehandi is known to have cooling properties. It is applied on hands and feet, where the nerve ends. Thus, its cooling effect calms them. It is also applied to the head to cure fever. The mehandi helps in better blood circulation. By its medicinal properties, it helps in maintaining the health of the bride and groom.

  • Other beneficial ingredients

People add lemon juice to mehandi. Eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil is also added. These things have healing properties. They help in darkening the colour. They also help in ensuring that the mehandi is retained for long. Some people also prepare mehandi with boiling tea leaves in water.

 Mehndi in Indian culture

  • Symbolic meaning

Mehandi is believed to be a symbol of fertility. Therefore, it holds so much value in Indian weddings. The mehandi is so important in our culture that a whole wedding rite is devoted to it. It is a ceremony that is celebrated with much gusto. The mehandi is applied to the hands and feet of the bride, while the women of the house celebrate with dance and music. In some regions, the mehandi is also applied to the groom. 

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 Mehndi in Indian culture

  • Mehandi Ceremony

Mehandi ceremony takes place a day or two before the wedding. This is the best time, as in these two days, the mehandi will become vibrant. On this day, all the women of the house also apply mehandi. Either a relative or a professional mehandi designer is called for the special occasion. There are also a lot of laughter, dance, and music. Women sing songs and dance. It is mostly an all ladies ceremony. In the night, the mehandi is applied to the bride. Women sing folk songs. The bride’s friends and sisters humorously tease her. Today, the ceremony has changed a lot. People organize bigger DJ parties. All the family members enjoy dancing and food. The bride waits for this day for a long time.

 Mehndi in Indian culture


Different Mehandi DesignsFeatures
Indian Mehandi Design–          Ranges from simple dot to more complex designs.

–          It takes a lot of time to create these designs.

–          The vacant spaces are filled with mehandi.

–          Different religious symbols are added for different occasions.

–          Bridal mehandi design disguises the name of the groom.


Arabic Mehandi Design–          These designs are relatively simple.

–          These designs mostly consist of flower and leaves motifs.

–          The vacant shapes are not filled.

–          Usually elongated designs.

–          Most people do it at the back of their hands.

Pakistani Mehandi Design–          A mix of Indian and Arabian design.

–          Worn by brides and children.

–          Ranges from very simple to complex.

African Mehandi Design–          Simple geometric shapes are used.

–          The shapes are not filled.

–          They are simple to master.

Contemporary Mehandi Design–          These designs are a mix of all the above mentioned designs.

–          Shimmer powder is used for extra beauty.

–          Precious stones can be embellished.

–          Can range from simple to complex.

–          The shapes and designs can be anything.

–          Can be used for temporary tattoos.


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