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.
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.