Sangeet & Mehendi
“Sangeet is a chance for relatives and friends of both the bride and the groom to get together,” Sunita continues. “They play instruments, dance, sing, and interact with each other. Sometimes they even poke fun at the bride and groom.” The party is hosted by the bride’s family and is also a time for introducing members of the families to each other.
At the Sangeet, an Indian bride takes part in a Mehendi ceremony, during which she and her female family members and friends gather for henna. “In the traditional Mehendi ritual,” says Sunita, “two or three women are hired to do the actual designs for the bride and her female guests. The artists create intricate designs on the hands or feet of the bride and her friends and family, using a paste of dried ground henna leaves. The henna is believed to ward off evil, promote fertility, and attract good energy for the soon-to-be wedded couple.”
The names of both the bride and the groom are “hidden” in the bride’s artwork and the groom is meant to find the names. There is also a saying that the deeper the color of the henna, the stronger the bond between husband and wife and the better the bride will get along with her mother-in-law. “So brides often let the henna dry for up to eight hours!”
” Brings gifts for the mothers of both the bride and the groom, including the dresses they will wear at the wedding.
The traditional Indian wedding itself is a ritual of three separate events: the Sangeet and Mehendi, the ceremony, and the reception celebration.”