Haldi & Henna - Hallowed Ceremonies in Hindu Weddings
Among the pre-wedding ceremonies observed in Hindu wedding, the most important ceremonies are the henna (mehendi) and haldi ceremony – so much that it has transcended regional barriers and is now observed all over the country.
The haldi ceremony is a very important part of Hindu weddings and marks the beginning of the wedding rituals. It is the yellow paste like mixture made primarily from turmeric (haldi) and other ingredients is rubbed onto the bride’s and groom’s skin before a ritualistic bath on the wedding morning. Being made mostly from turmeric this is what gives the haldi paste its natural yellow color. Out of all the pre-wedding events this is one of the favorites to photographers.
Haldi, also known as Uptaan, is celebrated the day before the actual wedding ceremony. During the Haldi ceremony, the married female relatives of each household apply haldi on both bride and groom along with water. The haldi ceremony is said to remove any nervousness from the groom, as well as, bless the couple with fortune and prosperity.
Once everyone is done applying or smearing the haldi on the bride and groom, the haldi is then washed off. Because of the yellow color the haldi leaves the bride and groom with glowing skin for their wedding day.
Essence of the Haldi Ceremony:
Application of the haldi is said to protect the bride and the groom from any bad omen that might harm them before their big day. It is for the same reason that the bride and the groom are prohibited from stepping outside once the haldi ceremony is over. After this, they only get to go out on the day of the wedding.
The ladies who apply the haldi paste on the couple also shower them with blessings of a happy and healthy married life – something that is considered invaluable as the couple sets off to begin a new life with each other.
Application of the paste cleanses the body and the soul of the couple that is going to be tied into holy matrimony. It marks an auspicious start to a new life together with a pure heart and soul.
The paste that is applied during the haldi ceremony is a strong antiseptic that prevents acne and pimples. The faint yellow stain left behind by the turmeric gives you an ethereal glow that is both beautiful and divine.
Henna (mehendi) Ceremony:
The ceremony involves application of henna or mehendi in intricate patterns on the hands and feet of the bride. The ceremony is held a couple of nights before the wedding, giving enough time for the henna stain to gain in strength so that it is a deep shade of crimson on the day of the wedding. There is nothing more beautiful than a blushing bride with henna on her hands and feet. The henna ceremony takes place amidst music, dance and fun, thereby giving the bride’s family a reprieve from all the tension that has been building up as a part of the wedding preparations. Not just this, the henna that is applied works as a stress reliever for it has a proven ability to cool down the body.
Essence of Henna Ceremony:
The darkness of the henna colour on a bride’s hand represents the deep love between the would-be-couple.
The colour also shows the love and understanding between the bride and her mother-in-law.
The longer the henna retains its colour, the more auspicious it is for the newlyweds.
Henna is also deemed to be a symbolic representation of fertility.
Henna also is an antiseptic and helps ward off many unwanted health problems just before the wedding.
This is an half an hour edited video from wedding photography done on Dec-2015 at Hotel Taj, Surat. Video is comprised of two hallowed ceremonies namely Haldi and Henna of bride.