We had the absolute honor of spending three days with Bijal, Amit and their families. The ceremonies that we had the pleasure of witnessing are steeped in tradition. The colors, music, dance and joy spilled through every aspect of their wedding weekend.
One of the most important pre-wedding ceremonies in Indian marriages is the mehendi ki raat. The beautiful bride-to-be adorns her hands and feet with striking designs made out of henna. As per the traditions, even the groom applies a bit of mehendi on his hands as well as feet. The entire ceremony is a fun-filled event with every family member and close friends of the bride and the groom being a part of it. But, apart from being a fun pre-wedding ritual, the mehendi ceremony also has a deep-rooted cultural significance to it.
Mehendi represents the bond of matrimony and is therefore, considered a shagun (sign of good luck). It signifies the love and affection between the couple and their families.
Here are some popular beliefs that are associated with this tradition:
· The darkness of the mehendi colour on a bride’s hand represents the deep love between the would-be-couple.
· The mehendi's colour also shows the love and understanding between the bride and her mother-in-law.
· The longer the mehendi retains its colour, the more auspicious it is for the newlyweds.
· Mehendi is also deemed to be a symbolic representation of fertility.
A Garba is typically held a day or two before the wedding. This event is a colorful and fun-filled party, usually involving dancing "Garba", a traditional dance of Gujarat, India. Garba is performed in a circle and the steps are often complicated.