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Posted by Aastha Nagpal on March 21, 2013

MEHNDI IN INDIAN CULTURE

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Mehndi

Mehndi or Mehandi is derived from the sanskrit word mendhikā. Mehndi holds a lot of cultural significance in Indian traditions. Be it weddings, Karva Chauth or other occasions, mehndi plays an important role in all the ceremonies and festivals of India. Applying mehndi to brides before wedding is one of the very old traditions in marriages, with its origins in ancient India. In certain parts of India, as well as in neighboring Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, grooms apply mehndi too. It gained popularity among Muslims when Prophet Muhammad used it, making it a pre-wedding ritual among majority Indians and also in Arabic speaking nations. From being exclusive to weddings, mehndi has now become a significant part of any special occasion including engagements.

Mehndi represents the bond of matrimony and hence, has sustained its importance as a pre-wedding ritual and is considered a “shagun”. It signifies the union of two families and the love and affection in a marriage. It is believed that the darker the mehndi stains on the bride’s hand, the stronger the bond will be with her husband. The longer the mehndi retains, the more auspicious it is for the newlyweds. Mehndi is also deemed to be a symbolic representation of fertility. In addition to the cultural significance in weddings, mehndi is also renowned worldwide for its medicinal properties. Its therapeutic qualities made it a popular cosmetic since early ages. Mehndi is an excellent, natural conditioner and dye for hair, giving beautifully coloured, radiant looking hair. Mehndi is also popular for its cooling effects and aids in soothing headaches, fevers and even hysteria. It can also increase the growth and look of nails.

Also read Traditional wedding!