There is evidence that mehndi as a ceremonial art form originated in ancient India.
Henna paste is usually applied on the skin using a plastic cone or a paint brush, but sometimes a small metal-tipped jacquard bottle used for silk painting (a jac bottle) is employed. The painted area is then wrapped with tissue, plastic, or medical tape to lock in body heat, creating a more intense colour on the skin. The wrap is worn three to six hours, or sometimes overnight and then removed. When first removed, the henna design is pale to dark orange in colour and gradually darkens through oxidation, over the course of 24 to 72 hours. The final colour is reddish brown and can last anywhere from one to three weeks depending on the quality and type of henna paste applied, as well as where it was applied on the body (thicker skin stains darker and longer than thin skin).
Intricate patterns of mehndi are typically applied to brides before wedding ceremonies.
The Groom's name is interwoven in the design and is only revealed on the wedding day. It was a little tricky eating with all the wet henna on our hands, but of course we persevered! :)