Beautiful Monday: Mehndi

If you’ve been to India or to an Indian wedding event, you’ve probably had it done.

If not, you’ve surely seen it in pictures.

Mehndi is one of the loveliest and most intricate body beautification traditions ever performed and dates back as far as the 12th century.

Although, its origin is unknown, some version of mehndi-type body art can be found in the artwork depicting the women of ancient Persia and Egypt. Even the Muslim prophet, Muhammad used henna to dye his beard and considered adorning the body with henna to be a "sunnah" or something of good fortune.

In the earliest Vedic (pre-Hindi) religious traditions, “Haldi” or body staining with turmeric paste (much like henna) was used to create drawings symbolizing the Outer and the Inner Sun on the hands and feet. This custom was meant to awaken the “inner light” in the wearer.

Today, these elaborate designs can take hours to create and are mostly used to adorn brides for wedding ceremonies in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The designs can last for up to 3 weeks depending on the wearer and the preservation process.

Personally, I wish people did this more often. It’s such a amazing skill and it would be fantastic to see men amd women walking the streets of any small western town wearing their inner sun on their fingers (and feet)!