A day leading up to the formal celebrations of Mohit and Nisha’s wedding! The Haldi and Mehendi are rather informal events that both families share in as they prepare for the wedding day itself.
Weddings in India are considered to be a sacred and sanctified ritual. They are long ritualistic and elaborate affair with lots of pre-wedding, wedding, post wedding ritual.
The haldi ceremony is said to remove any nervousness from the groom, as well as, bless the couple with fortune and prosperity. Turmeric, a natural exfoliate, is applied to the bride’s face so she will have radiant skin for her wedding day. After the paste is allowed to dry the bride and groom shower and emerge glowing and ready to be married. During this time the ladies will gather and sing folk songs around the dholki and food and drinks usually follow the bride and groom’s re-entrance to the function.
The occasion of the Mehendi ceremony is one of the most important pre-wedding rituals. It is fun a filled ritual, which is celebrated mainly by the bride’s family. Different regions of the country celebrate the ritual in a different way according to their own marriage customs, rituals, and culture. The celebrations also depend on the wealth and status of the people. The bride’s family celebrates Mehendi party for gathering bride’s friends and relatives for blessing the bride as well as for amusement.
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. On this occasion a professional henna/mehendi designer or some relative applies mehendi to the bride’s hands and feet. There are few places in India where it is a ritual that the first motif of henna or mehendi is applied by the bride’s sister-in-law whereas there are some places where the first mehendi motif is said to be auspicious if applied by bride’s mother.
As per Kama Sutra, henna is one of the sixty-four arts of women. Popular motifs of the bridal mehendi are conchshell, flowers, Kalash, peacock, doli and baraat patterns. The intricate motifs of the bridal henna also hide the husband’s name. It is said that the husband’s name in the intricate henna motifs is made for the groom who has to find out his name in his bride’s mehendi as an evidence of his sharp eyes and active brain to impress his girl.