The Art of Henna
Henna (mehndi) is a thick paste made from ground henna leaves. The paste is mixed together with a little eucalyptus oil, clove oil, a few drops of lemon juice and water: which is usually boiled with a handful of tea leaves. Every henna artist has their own recipe to mix the paste, however these are the basic ingredients used.
Henna is applied on the skin as a temporary skin decoration, usually the hands and the feet during weddings and other Indian festivals. Indian weddings are full of many traditions and celebrations; henna ceremony is one of them. A special day is dedicated when henna is applied on the hands and feet of the bride, it usually involves lots of singing, dancing and music.
Henna is widely used as means of temporary tattoos all over the world.
I hope a very brief introduction on henna/mehndi puts the light traditions of henna. Below are some photographs that I took for a henna artist (Ray of Light) for her website.