History and tradition of henna tattoos

The name “henna” comes from Arabic. The precise origin of henna tattoos is not clear. However, the tradition goes back to ancient Egypt.

The Egyptians used it for medicinal purposes, as a treatment against infections and inflammations and as a cure against snake and scorpion bites.

Cleopatra used it to decorate her body, and the Egyptians also used it to paint the mummy’s nails before being buried.

Henna’s tattoos and their meaning 

The art of applying temporary henna tattoos on hands and feet has been traditionally used for celebrations and rites of passage like marriage engagements, weddings, births, religious holidays, and festivals.

Each culture has its own meanings:

Meaning of Hindu henna tattoos

Indian brides have been beautifying their hands with henna for decades. In Hindu weddings, henna is painted on the bride to symbolize various goods and virtues:

Flowers: 

One of the most demanding designs, flowers, symbolizes joy, and happiness.

Flower buds: 

The beginning of a new life. They are usually seen in the palms of newly married woman or future moms.

The lotus:

It represents a myriad of virtues: creativity, grace, sensuality, beauty, femininity, and purity.

Peacock: 

Another very popular wedding design that means beauty.

Birds: 

Apart from peacocks, many other birds, such as parrots and sparrows, are also very popular and are incorporated into henna designs. Birds symbolize freedom.

Fish: 

While they are not as common as peacocks and flowers, fish are used to represent a woman’s eyes.

Butterflies and dragonflies: 

While butterflies mean transformation and change, dragonflies are associated with rebirth.

Vines: 

A recurring theme used in many henna designs is the vine. With delicate leaves and beautiful flowers, the vine is an attractive design that symbolizes longevity, perseverance and vitality, very important qualities for a relationship to thrive.

The sun: 

The sun has always been considered as the last source of energy according to Indian culture. The sun represents the resurgence, immortality, eternal love, and knowledge.

The moon: 

The lasting love between the couple, the positive power of change, protection, and health, is what the moon means. A crescent moon means that a new baby is on its way.

Water: 

A wave pattern. Just as a river or stream continues to flow, life is a constant series of changes and different emotions. Water can also mean purification.

The mandalas:

The mandala represents the universe. Its visually attractive circular shape has made the mandala a favorite motif among mehndi artists.

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