Mehndi, a night filled with colors, music, and competition, night without which Pakistani wedding is incomplete. It is hosted by the bride’s family, and takes place the night before barat (quintessential wedding day). The groom’s family and friends arrive to the venue with mehndi (henna) for the bride. Henna is a powder derived from a flowering plant, which is combined with tea water, lemon, and essential oils to make a thick paste. This paste is then applied on the bride’s hands in beautiful floral patterns.
Females carry out the cultural traditions, as it is basically an event for women. Either the phuppo, (dad’s sister) or the khala, (mom’s sister) start by placing a leaf on both the bride and groom’s right hand. Next, put a pinch of henna paste on the leaf and apply oil on the bride and grooms hair. At the end, feed them methai (sweets). Every women does the same as they come up to the couple. However, the bride’s sisters carry out an additional step, helping her wear flower jewelery and bangles.
Later, both the bride and groom’s families play “antakshari”; in which, the opposing team has to sing a song starting from the alphabet the first team ends their song with. Next, the dance battles begin, traditional dances take place first. Although, desi aunties are popular for strictly following their rituals, they put them aside when it comes to dancing on mehndi ceremonies. All women make a circle for ludi; in which, they clap and snap at the same time repeatedly. This is followed by bhangra, moving your legs and hand cohesively and finally, giddah, a dance consisting of different styles of clapping. Afterwards, youngsters dance to recent songs enjoying the rest of the night.
Mehndi cohesively is the most fun night of all ceremonies dubbed as the night of young ones. If you don’t have fun on Mehndi you don’t know what fun is. This event gives both bride and groom a chance to see each other before the bride is officially sent with the groom to his house on barat.