I have always been fascinnated by women wearing mehndi.When tonight I saw a girl wearing mehndi I Kept staring at her hands (which was quite embarassing since I didn't know her!)
Mehndi is the application of henna as a temporary form of skin decoration.It can last even months before totally disappearing.
On many Indian websites there are fascinating instructuions on how to preserve the decorations as long as possible (like not to use an oily soap when washing and not to stay close to the air conditioner as it dries up the mehendi).
Mehndi is typically used in Hindu and Muslim celebrations and there many myths surrounding this reddish-brown tattoo. The most popular belief is that the deeper the color, the stronger the bond between bride and mother-in-law.With henna on her hands, the bride can't in fact do any household work—she is pampered and cared for. Another legend has to do with the groom finding his initials in the mehndi design.
The origin of mehndi is to be found in the desert areas of Rajasthan, Punjab and Gujarat. The story goes that people living in the Thar Desert coated their hands and feet with a paste made from crushed henna leaves to keep their body temperature low.
I think Mehndi decorations are ery beautiful (ok, it something not to wear for a simple night out and it must very well done to be beautiful ..but it is fascinating, isn't it?)
I have found some beautiful patterns in an Indian website
From: mereditharnold.wordpress.com and hennamehndi.in
And some other beautiful images
For the wedding of Aishwarya Rai, the most famous Indian actress (see below) , the mehndi (over 15 kg of henna) was brought from the groom's house to the bride's...well, Indian women definitely know how to celebrate and be beautiful!