Where did henna come from? What role does henna play in different traditions? Where does henna grow?
Henna has been used in multiple places all around the world for thousands of years. From the obvious India and Pakistan, to Africa and the Middle East, it has been a common form of tradition and art in various cultures and communities.
The different uses for henna have varied in the past. From body decoration in Hindu festivals, fasts and weddings, to purely practical uses like hair dye, and medicine. Thousands of years ago, people of the dessert would even cover their skin in henna to make the most of its cooling properties and avoid being burnt by the hot summer sun.
In Indian weddings, the wife is often covered in beautiful and intricate designs. One traditional belief is that as long as the henna stain lasts on the brides skin, she does not have to do any housework! Men will also use henna at weddings, and it is a large part of the preparation in the days leading up to these huge events.
However, henna has not only had a place in traditional Indian events. It has also been used within a number of cultures and religions such as Islam and even Judaism in places such as Morocco, Yemen and Iraq and the list could go on! And as the places of use vary, so does the henna! As henna is a natural plant, the powder it produces will vary form place to place! For instance, some henna may produce a darker stain, while other henna may leave a red stain! It all depends on a whole bunch of factors.
And the plants? Natural henna plants are found growing all around the world, again from the fields of Pakistan and India, even to farms in Australia!
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