Sunday, January 18, 2009


I was invited by a Muslim family to attend Mehndi ceremony of their daughter. This ceremony was held on the previous evening of the wedding day. I am posting some photos of the enjoyable, enchanting, enthralling evening with music, singing, dancing and plenty of excellent food. ENJOY!

Best wishes

Mehndi is the application of Henna as a temporary form of skin decoration in South Asia, the Southwest Asia, North Africa and the Horn of Africa, as well as by expatriate communities from these areas. Mehndi decorations became fashionable in the West in the late 1990s, where they are sometimes called henna tattoos.
In Kerala henna is known as mylanchi and widely used by the Muslim community. Henna is typically applied during special occasions like weddings and festivals. It is usually drawn on the palms and feet, where the color will be darkest because the skin contains higher levels of keratin which binds temporarily to lawsone, the colorant of henna. Henna was used as a form of decoration mainly for brides.


Femin Susan said...

when i was very small i was avidly fond of mehindi.there was a mehindi tree in my i used to pluck those leaves and my mother grinds it for me. but once i did that myself with my new dress. while grinding the proportion of water increased and thus a lot of the paste splashed on to my new dress.And i remember my mother scold even now.
good luck :)

Femin Susan said...

i think the hand in the third photo is your NIECE’S .


Beautiful pictures.
Second from top is my guess.

Henna is also said to have a cooling effect on the body.

manivannan said...

Beautiful photos Sir. Hope you had a great time, and great food :)

Rahul said...

all hands equally pretty !! cant identify ur niece's hands :( ..

Amazing photographer u are added to it ur brilliance in artistic sense :)

LJEANH said...

Joseph...loved the pictures of the park...especially the Palm Tree & the Bougainvillea...they reminded me of Phoenix, AZ...I lived there for 10 years.
Your photos from the pre-wedding celebration were the bright colors and everyone looked like they had a great time.
I've added Chella to my prayer list...along with Thomas & Mary & the beggar...your blog expands my prayer circle!
Take safe, Laura

Danielle&Hannah said...

Hi there Joseph,

Wow, what intricate designs especially the third photo. I am not sure which photo to guess?? Could you please cuturise me a bit more - does the food have symbolic meaning also? It reminds me of "Now Rooz" Iranian New Year. The symbols are symbolic representations of two ancient concepts - the End and the Rebirth; or Good and Evil. Hannah is half Iranian so I have seen much of the cultural ceremonies. May I query further as to the food used in celebration?
Thank you for a very interesting post again,

Best regards,

JM said...

Henna paintings are so beautiful, but I must say I've never seen one similar to the 3rd photo. Just awesome!
My girlfriend had her feet decorated at Arambol (Goa), you can check it on my travel blog :-)

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Danielle :)

I'm not aware of any special purpose for the mendhi ceremony other than decorating the bride's hands and to give a feast to close relatives and friends. However, the henna paste that is used has several medicinal properties.

The food was the usual buffet in a big hotel such as soup, appams, fried rice,chicken,fish,vegetable dishes,variety of sweets and ice creams.

I hope Hannah has completely recovered from her sickness.

My prayers and best wishes :)


Nice photos. Thanks for sharing.

Naval Langa

Another Interesting Blog

Leo said...

Very interesting and artistic. My only experience with henna is in hair dye to make the hair red. It worked for Lucille Ball (I Love Lucy). Sounds like you are having great enjoyment with your family.

Maria said...

Hi Joseph,
ha, I think your niece took the first four pictures.
Why? Well, the subject betrays a woman - a woman may be more interested in beautiful ornaments, while a male may be more interested in the setting, scenery, the buffet ( :P ), and, maybe more convincing, the names of the photos betray you! You name your pictures img3729.jpg, and your niece uses words (Mehdi_on_hands.jpg).
Am I right?
The ceremony is wonderful and I love the henna paintings on the hands! Great photos, thank you for sharing! It is so interesting to see different wedding celebrations in different cultures!

SkyJuice said...

Hi Joseph,

Wow, such intricate henna details! I like the third one. I'm not going to guess which ones are your niece's hands as I can be bad at guessing.

Henna is also popular in Malaysia. They're mostly used in Hindu and Malay weddings. Some people also wear henna on their fingers for fun, and some use henna to dye their hair.

There's a henna tree in the garden here at home. However, the locals especially the Muslims prefer henna from Saudi.

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
Wow, what fun! What beauty! The intricate designs are spell binding. I have no idea which one is your niece's hand, but if Maria is right, she's quite the detective!
Thanks for sharing the richness of their culture.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Maria :)

The hands with golden bangles are my niece's. You really tried hard.

Best wishes :)