Henna is enjoying a bit of a renaissance.
Wait. That’s inaccurate. It implies that it was ever at some point unpopular. Not true. More fair would be to say that the art of henna is gaining recognition here in the United States.
Not sure what I’m talking about? What is this henna thing of which I speak?
Quick lesson. Pay attention. There may be a pop quiz.
Henna is a plant. Dry it. Grind it into a powder. Mix it with an acidic liquid (like lemon juice) and a few other things. Now you have a paste. Put it in a tube and draw on your skin. Or someone else’s. It’ll be tricky. Ever tried drawing with toothpaste? Yeah. It’ll dry into a hardish crust. Leave it alone! Now the magic happens. The henna stains your skin. The longer you leave it on, the deeper the stain.
It’s kind of like a temporary tattoo.
You can also use henna as a hair dye. However, in the immortal words of the late Leslie Nielsen, that’s not important right now.
Henna has been around since the Bronze Age. It was used for ceremonies and celebrations, including bridal preparations. Henna is one of the oldest known wedding traditions. Yep, it even predates the chicken dance. Quite an achievement.
The application of henna, called Mehndi, is itself an “event” in preparation for a wedding. A bride’s hands, arms and feet are covered in intricate designs. Sometimes the groom is also decorated. In a traditional wedding, this social henna party gave the bride and groom an opportunity to get to know each other and bond. The deepness of the stain is said to represent the strength of the marriage to come.
Having henna applied can be a relaxing and pampering experience. You have no choice but to sit still for a couple of hours. Maybe a glass (or several) of wine will be involved. With all of the chaos leading up to a typical wedding day, it can be just a calming experience a bride needs. Or even one more bonding night for the bridal party. Not to mention that it’s a cool and unique addition to a wedding day appearance.
Interested? Visit Sam’s new Hannaya Healing fan page and give her a shout. Tell her Studio Orange sent ya.