Henna Night

The fruit vases are standing everywhere, the plates with Eastern sweets and flowers, the candles are burning and shedding aroma scents, the women are sitting in the circle singing sad songs and drawing sophisticated patterns on their hands with henna. In that way the traditional Muslim bridal shower is usually spent. It is called the Night of Henna. The feminine relatives and friends of a bride gather in a beautifully decorated room wearing their best outfits to take part in a ceremony of seeing their dear friend off. The traditional color of bridal dress is commonly red in Muslim countries so only the bride is allowed to wear it. She usually covers her face with a thin silk veil and left her hands bare. According to the traditions at first the hands of the bride are being painted with henna. Than the hands of all the women who are happy in their marriage are being painted. Henna is supposed to remember the positive vibrations of happiness. After that the girls who want to get married soon stretch their hands to have them painted. In that way they believe to attract the happiness and luck.

Generally the floral or geometrical patterns are being drawn on the hands of the bride. The initial letters of her groom’s name are usually hidden in that pattern. During the first night the young husband has to find his names in those patterns. If he doesn’t manage to find the letters he is to give her expensive gifts.

The young unmarried girls usually paint only the tips of their nails with henna. This tradition is easily explained as it is prohibited for a woman by Islam to show any pat of her body except hands and eyes.

The vestiges of henna are commonly burnt. The scent of henna is supposed to scare the evil ghosts off.

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