The Henna or Mendhi night is an evening that the bride spends with her female friends and family prior to the wedding in order to get their hands, arms and sometimes feet painted with Henna. The Henna paste is used to create intricate and beautiful temporary tattoos on the skin.
Twa’s family spent the afternoon decorating her parents home with beautiful and vibrant saris giving it a Bedouin tent feel. The guests arrived dressed in traditional attire and throughout the evening they took it in turns to have their hands painted by the Henna artist. As the bride, Twa had the most intricate henna patterns.
Although the Mendhi night is traditionally for females only, as you can see from the photos some of boys couldn’t help but crash the party – including the groom! There was music and dancing, including a special dance performed by Twa’s sisters which made everyone feel very emotional. Next it was time for a delicious Sri Lankan meal before everyone moved outside to watch the fireworks and have fun with sparklers. It was a fantastic evening.
The next day was the gold melting ceremony or “ponnurkku” at Len’s family home. This was attended by close family and friends but not Twa who was not allowed at this ceremony!
Len presented a gold coin to the goldsmith who melted it into a clay pot at an auspicious time with offerings to the Gods. Once it was melted, this was shown (as per tradition) to all those present to make sure that the gold was suitable for the Thaali to be made from it. In case you don’t know, a Thaali is the necklace which the groom ties around the bride’s neck during the Hindu wedding ceremony signifying their marriage.
This short but important ceremony was the penultimate event before the wedding day itself, the photos of which you can view here: