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Published on 18 Aug 2016 | 5 months ago

A mehndi dance is a traditional pre-wedding ritual in South Asian countries, particularly in India and Pakistan. The ceremony is celebrated by the bride’s family at her home or a banquet hall. The dance takes its name from the Hindi meaning of mehndi, which refers to the ritual painting of the bride’s body with henna. The music and costumes for the dance are chosen very carefully by the bride and the female participants.

Although it is now part of many Hindu festivals, mehndi was traditionally used as a body decoration for brides. In the ritual, Henna leaves are ground on a stone, and the ground henna is then mixed with oil to form a paste. Modern brides can now purchase henna applicators in stores. Some still prefer the traditional method, as it is said to create darker and richer colors.

Typically the henna paste is applied to the bride’s hands and feet. Some mehndi body paintings reach above the wrists and the lower shins. In appearance, the decorations resemble tattoos. Mehndi is typically for brides but in some countries the bridegroom may request to be painted as well. Often the bride will have her intended husband’s name or initials hidden within the mehndi designs.

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