A flowering plant, henna is used as a dye, particularly in hair colouring, and temporary body art known as mehndi (also written as mehendi or mehandi). The dye is extracted from the dried leaf and petioles of the plant. Mehndi is the application of henna as a temporary form of skin decoration. It is usually drawn on the hands and feet, where the designs will last the longest.
The patterns of Mehndi are typically quite intricate, and predominantly applied to brides before wedding ceremonies. However, traditions in Bangladesh, Kashmir and Sudan sometimes expect bridegrooms to be painted as well.
Mehndi decorations became fashionable in the West in the late 1990s, where they are sometimes called "henna tattoos
". This American marketing slang is inaccurate, since tattoos are defined as permanent surgical insertion of pigments underneath the skin.
"For my sisters wedding ceremony, everyone got to have their hands and feet decorated in henna."