Mehndi is the application of henna as a temporary form of skin decoration in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh as well as by expatriate communities from those countries. The word mehndi is derived from the Sanskrit word mendhikā. The use of mehndi, as described in the earliest Hinduism’s Vedic ritual books, intended to be a symbolic representation of the outer and the inner sun. Vedic customs are centred around the idea of “awakening the inner light”.
Mehndi decorations became fashionable in the West in the late 1990s, where they are sometimes called henna tattoos. Many women (originally brides) have henna applied to their hands and feet during special occasions like weddings and festivals. It is usually drawn on the palms and feet, where the design will be clearest because the skin on these surfaces naturally contains less of the pigment, melanin.