Turkish Wedding Henna

Interested in Turkish wedding henna? Want to know what goes into making a Turkish pre-wedding henna party? Read on for more facts & information…

Turkish wedding henna does not bear any resemblance to the intricate henna tattoos that are familiar to most people. The application of Turkish wedding henna typically takes place the night before the wedding ceremony and the henna staining the hands of the bride announces to others that she is a newlywed. Henna night is usually attended by close friends and female relatives of the bride and men are excluded. It is, in many ways, the Turkish form of the bachelorette party.

Henna Night Wedding Parties

The evening usually includes female entertainers who dance and play music for the bride and her guests. There are traditional songs which are somewhat melancholy since the occasion marks the last night the bride will spend in the home of her parents. In the past, many brides might not see their parents again since their husbands resided in distant villages and transportation was difficult, dangerous and expensive.

Turkish Henna Design Artists

The guests at Kina Gecesi (henna night) join in the dancing and singing and the bride’s mother and prospective mother-in-law dance around the bride and apply henna paste to the palms of her hands. Coins are pressed into the henna and the hands are wrapped until the henna dries. Modern girls may opt to celebrate henna night but have henna tattoos drawn on their hands by an artist rather than simply stain the palms of their hands. Henna artists in Turkey often use traditional Ottoman Empire designs in their work and the resulting tattoos are quite beautiful.

When & Where To Have The Party

Although henna night is traditionally held at the home of the bride’s parents, some families choose to have this celebration in a hotel since it may not be convenient to have a large party the night before the wedding. Those who do have the party in their own home will often opt to hold it several days before the wedding and thus avoid having a mess to clean up while trying to get ready for the celebration. Food and beverages are served during the party and there are games and other amusements.

The traditions surrounding Turkish wedding henna night include sexual instructions to the bride and a certain amount of ribald joking, but compared to European and American  bachelorette parties they are quite tame. Male entertainers are excluded from these parties, especially if the bride or her guests are observant Muslims. In rare instances henna night celebrations may be co-ed, but this usually happens only when either the bride or groom is from another country.

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