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What Are Mehndi Plates?

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  • Written By: K. Reynolds
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 27 September 2016
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A mehndi plate is a colorful plate decorated with flowers and candles which is used to carry or present the henna for special ceremonies in Indian and Arabic cultures. Also known as henna, mehndi is a reddish brown dye that can be applied to hair or skin for cosmetic purposes. Mehndi plates make excellent gifts for weddings in particular, where the bride gets her henna designs applied on the day before the ceremony.

Menhdi plates can be large and elaborate and there is no limit as to the kind of flowers, candles and other decorations that can be used. Most flowers usually come in yellow or red, or a combination of both, while the candles are placed around the henna bowl to bring out the colors of the decorations. Some even prefer adding strings of decorative beads and colorful paper shapes on the plate for a unique touch.

The plate itself is decorated with henna as well. Plates for mehndi come with intricate designs, usually floral or symmetrical. Colors can range from deep brown to brilliant red on a yellow or golden background depending on the type of henna used and the decorating process. Even without the flowers and candles, a mehndi plate is a work of art and can be given as a gift on its own.

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The type of design on mehndi plates will depend on the region in which they are made. Indian mehndi designs range from the simple to extremely complex, usually featuring dots and circles, while Arabic designs feature leaves and flowers weaving intricately across the surface. There are also African designs that mainly have geometric shapes like circles, squares and lines. Pakistani designs usually combine Arabic and Indian designs to bring out complex patterns.

A mehndi ceremony involves having the bride’s hands and feet decorated with henna, either by a professional henna designer or by her in-laws-to-be. The henna is presented on the decorated mehndi plates usually in a vibrant ritual, after which the mehndi is put in an applicator and outlined on the bride’s skin. It is believed that the darker the henna patterns on the bride, the more her husband will love her.

When choosing mehndi plates one must consider its color, size and pattern and select one that is suitable for the ceremony. Regardless of the details, a menhdi plate will always be a welcomed and thoughtful gift. Some individuals prefer to create their own mehndi plates, as it is possible to find guides and resources on creating henna decorated plates, as well as mehndi patterns.

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SteamLouis
Post 3

I'm glad to know that the decorations and tools used for bridal henna are nicer and more beautiful in other countries. The henna plates used for the henna night in Turkey are so plain. Sometimes it's just a stainless steel tray. And the worst part is that they don't make designs with the henna, they take a blob of it and smack it down in the center of the bride's palm (not a very attractive appearance as you might guess) and then close the bride's hand. Sometimes they put a gold coin in it before they close it. Then, the women proceed to circling around the bride, singing the saddest songs so that the bride cries her eyes out.

It's awful! I truly admire the fun-filled, henna nights of Indians where beautiful, elaborate designs are made with the henna, like art on the bride. And people actually enjoy themselves! Gasp!

fify
Post 2

Indian mehndi plates are very gorgeous. They are so colorful with all sorts of Indian designs. I also like that most mehndi plates have little bowls and sections attached to the plate. So henna can be put into all the bowls and carried easily because nothing will fall off.

The Indian mehndi plates also remind me of the plates and decorations used for the Indian festival "Diwali," the "Festival of Lights." The decor, the style seems very common with both.

burcinc
Post 1

I attended a mehndi night in Egypt once. They had a beautiful mehndi plate with a heap of henna at the center. The plate was carried by the bride's grandmother and she, with the help of the mother applied the henna to her hands. Then they covered it with a special cloth and the evening continued with music and dance.

It was actually a lot of fun and I remember every detail. I wish we had a mehndi night in our wedding tradition. It's a lovely ceremony for the bride and the women who are important for her.

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