Henna – an Alternative Kind of Tattoo
Have you ever thought you’d like to have a tattoo, but you’re afraid of the pain of the tattoo needle? Or maybe you don’t want something permanent. If that’s the case, why not try henna?
Using henna to paint designs on the body has been traditional in southern Asian countries for thousands of years. The most familiar is when women in south Asian countries have their hands painted for their wedding.
One tradition that follows the wedding is that the bride does not have to do any housework while the henna stains are still present. As you can imagine, then, darker stains are very popular.
A few days before her wedding, a bride often has a gathering for her female friends and female family members. They have a party, all the while getting henna applied to their hands and/or feet.
Of course, the bride’s henna designs are the most intricate and generally symbolize fertility, prosperity, and all kinds of good fortune for her and her husband. She may even have the groom’s initials painted in henna somewhere in the intricate design.
But henna painting isn’t only for the hands and feet. It can be done on other parts of the body and can be applied for other celebrations as well, like birthdays and anniversaries.
The henna plant, which is native to tropical areas of Asia, was originally used as a paste to apply to the soles of a person’s feet or the palms of the hands. The paste had a cooling effect that lasted as long as the paste was present. As the paste dried, it made patterns on the skin, and people got the idea to use this for designs and decorations.
Although painting the body with henna designs is an Indian tradition, it has now become popular in many parts of the world and can often be seen on celebrities like Gwen Stefani and Liv Tyler, just to name a couple.
You probably don’t even have to go to India to find a great henna artist. Check out your local area.