The tradition of applying mehndi on the hands of the bride dates back to thousands of years ago. The practice is popular in the Indian subcontinent, Africa, and the West Asia. But what most of us don’t know is that traditionally, mehndi was applied on the hands of both the bride and the bridegroom. Its aesthetic appeal aside, mehndi was coveted because of its cooling properties. It was applied on the palm as it is an area of immense venal activity. Mehndi was believed to help keep any pre-wedding anxiety or stress at bay and protect the couple from falling ill. In the Middle-East, mehndi was applied by both men and women to cool off. The color that it left after being washed off was just an added bonus. This gave them the idea of experimenting with mehndi and making designs while applying it.
But somewhere down the centuries it lost its significance for men and applying mehndi got confined to the bride. However, even today there are regions in India like Kumaon where both the bride and the bridegroom have to get mehndi applied for auspicious reasons. In fact, the practice of both the bride and the bridegroom applying mehndi is still prevalent in villages and small towns. On the other hand, the tradition has come full circle and these days you can spot even urban bridegrooms sporting mehndi as the hottest new trend in matrimony.
While some bridegrooms want to keep it simple, others like to go over the top. Many bridegrooms opt for a simple solid spot on the palm while others like to only color their fingertips with mehndi. For those who want design but don’t want to go in for floral patterns, there is the option of tribal art such as figurines or folk art motifs. There is also the choice of an elaborate bracelet pattern which you can customize according to your taste. Also in vogue are Arabic patterns that don’t interfere much with your masculine look. Alternatively, you can opt for a design on the lines of a tattoo on your forearm or the back of your palm. For a more playful look try getting your favorite bike tattooed on your forearm or hand with mehndi. Even better and romantic is getting your bride’s name written in mehndi.
While some bridegrooms say applying mehndi makes them get into the shaadi feeling others say they do it to express solidarity with their would-be life partner.
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