The artist covers the bride’s hands and feet with flowers, curly arabesques, paisleys, mangos and vines. The lotus flower, a frequently used mehndi design, is an important symbol of purity in Hinduism and Buddhism. The peacock, the national bird of India, is another traditional Indian motif. The groom’s initials will often be hidden in the design. It is believed that if he is unable to find them, the bride will be the dominant force in the marriage. Indian women believe that the darker the color of the henna stain, the deeper the mother-in-law’s love for the new bride will be. The new bride will not have to perform any household chores before the design has disappeared. One old wives’ tale describes a cunning young girl who secretly reapplied the henna each night so her stain never wore off.
Preparation of Mehndi:
To prepare Mehndi, the leaves are dried and ground into a fine powder. This powder is then mixed with a variety of oils and tea (Boil black tea (2 bags) for at least 15 minutes - this will be added to the henna powder) or water.(Use bottled or distilled water if possible, otherwise tap water contains chlorine