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Traditional Mehndi meanings

Henna application

Small guide to Mehndi symbols and their meanings.

Henna has always been popular in arabian and indian cultures, as body embellishment and wishing well on important occasions. Whereas permanent tattoos always had a stronger connotation, anciently requiring strength and courage to get tattooed, temporary henna tattoos are totally painless (it´s just about "drawing" on the skin with herbal juice) and vanish in few weeks; that´s why their use has been purely cosmetic. Many complex patterns exist which are passed from father to son, or represent certain peoples or social classes, and some are holyday-related, but all of them are made up of a certain amount of basic symbols:

The bud: leaves and buds grow at the end of a drought, and thus represent new life, fertility and joy. Here´s how they can be used in patterns:


ZigZag: in India this symbol means "rain" and represents fertility and abundance. Usage samples:


The game: this is quite an ancient symbol which, in different variants, often appears in the Indian culture; it represents happyness and joyful moments. Samples:


The scorpion: you must not be surprised to know that the scorpion is used to symbolize love. His bite and love have very close symptoms for the Indian culture: glittering eyes, shortness of breath, fever, pain (when rejected). Samples:


Ripples: they represent running water, which purifies and brings life.

See you soon for more symbols and meanings!

tags: henna, meanings


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