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Traditional Mehndi meanings tattoo photo

Traditional Mehndi meanings
Small guide to Mehndi symbols and their meanings.

July 15th, 2007

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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!

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