For cocktail hour on Dad & G’s last night in India, we had an impromptu mehndi party. “A” came over after work to say goodbye to her new adoptive parents (a debate rages as to who’s adopted whom). My neighbour’s niece is an amazing henna artist (who is so humble about what she considers to be just a hobby) and she just happened to be free. So we all got “inked”.
G got a traditional lacy flowers print all over her hand, front & back. Dad got an eye inside his palm, A got a paisley on her wrist and I got a Ganesh/ohm on my wrist.
The mehndi is made from a paste of henna leaf. It stains the skin, so the pattern wears off with time. It normally lasts about 10 days, depending on how hard you scrub at it.
It’s traditionally used on brides for wedding ceremonies (among other celebrations). Hence, are lots of old wives tales & superstitions about it: the darker the mehndi on a bride, the more deeply her future husband will love her (also a motivation for brides to sit still and let the pattern dry completely). It’s sometimes said that a new bride should not be expected to do housework until her wedding mehndi has worn off. G is going work that angle 😉