"I'm Lisa Butterworth sometimes known as Kenzi and I'm a henna artist and the owner of a henna supply business, kenzi.com. Today I'll unleash your inner henna artist and have you drawing henna designs all over your friends and anyone else who will sit still. Throughout the world henna is used for the happy moments of life and not very often used for the sad moments in life like a death in the family. It's used for holidays and anytime people gather to celebrate. Sometimes girlfriends will just get together and throw a little henna party for a friend who's depressed to cheer her up and it usually works. Brides in South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North Africa all use henna for their weddings. It's used by almost all religions and pretty much all over the region for weddings. Henna is not only for enhancing the bride's beauty, it's also used as a protection against any forces of evil. The actual substance of henna is believed to contain blessings that will protect the bride against any envy or any evil on this special day of her life. In North Africa, not only is the henna there to protect her, but there are also symbols in her henna design that will protect her against evil.
The bride, for that one day is the most beautiful woman in the room, and therefore she is the target of a lot of envy, and so a lot of these designs and the henna itself are there to protect her against this envy which can be very dangerous to her. Indian henna designs contain a lot of symbols that will help the bride. For example, there's a lot of paisleys in Indian henna designs. Paisleys are a fertility symbol because they resemble a mango and a mango is a fertility symbol because of the big seed inside. And there are also a lot of peacocks in Indian designs. Peacocks symbolize happiness and that's something every bride wants. There's a tradition in Indian bridal henna where the groom's initials are drawn into the design, and on the wedding night the groom has to try and find the initials and its said that if he can't find the initials the bride will have the upper hand in the marriage. And if he can find his initials, he will have the upper hand, so it's always in the bride's best interest in order to keep her power to get a very good henna artist who can hide the initials very well. Middle eastern Jews also have a henna party before their weddings. There's a lot of dancing and singing and henna comes into play and the bride and the groom each get a smear of henna in their palm for good luck."