News Photo Essay

Artful Henna Designs Add Beauty To Hands

Photos taken by Arooj Khalid of her hands after she applied mehndi, or henna, designs. The brownish color is the applied paste and the red design is the result after the paste dries and is scraped away. 
LAHORE, Pakistan – Mehndi, also known as henna, is a really cool way to get funky, beautiful hands.
Its origins are from the subcontinent of South Asia, in the three countries of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
Better known as henna in the outer world, it is a sort of mixture that now comes in paste, as well as powdered form.
A plant material, henna is applied in beautiful designs to the palm of the hand, sometimes the feet, and is also used to give hair a brownish orange color. 

Not only the designs, but the color and the aroma play essential roles in the world of henna.
Applying henna is quite an old custom, most often used on important occasions such as weddings, religious feasts like Eid and other important events.

Over the years, the trend of “henna tattoos” has developed, making tattoos with henna on the body in exactly the same way.
No one can imagine the sight of a bride, without her hands, arms and feet covered with henna. Besides the bride, each girl attending the wedding also tries her best to apply henna before the function. Henna is also applied with glee at the anticipated event of Eid.

“Chand rat,” or the night before Eid day, typically finds girls going to the market to get henna applied on their hands by professionals.
Henna is loved by women of all ages and is now gaining popularity in the whole world.

Arooj Khalid is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International in Pakistan.

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