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Mehandi craze sweeps Kashmir ahead of Eid-ul-Azha

The henna designs, featuring delicate vines, flowers, and paisleys, beautifully blend Kashmiri elegance with Pakistani flair.
Last Updated : 16 June 2024, 08:58 IST

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Srinagar: As Eid-ul-Azha approaches, Kashmir is experiencing a vibrant surge in the popularity of mehandi (henna). With the festival set for Monday, women and girls are flocking to markets in search of the perfect mehandi designs to adorn their hands.

Inspired by Pakistani trends popularised on social media and television, the intricate art of mehndi has captivated the women of Kashmir.

Crowds of women - young and old - gather around skilled henna artists to have their hands decorated with elaborate patterns that symbolise festivity and tradition.

The designs, featuring delicate vines, flowers, and paisleys, beautifully blend Kashmiri elegance with Pakistani flair.

Ayesha Khan, a young woman from uptown Srinagar, explained that henna symbolises joy and festivity and has long been a part of Eid celebrations in Kashmir.

"This year, the new trends from Pakistani serials have fascinated women in Srinagar," she told Deccan Herald.

"Mehandi artists, mostly females, have incorporated these beautiful designs seen in the latest Pakistani shows. Applying mehandi during festivals and other functions connects us to our cultural roots," Khan added.

In the bustling market of Jawahar Nagar, Meher, a talented mehandi artist, was seen working her magic. As she applied the fragrant henna paste with steady hands, the women around her chat about their Eid preparations. For many, applying mehandi is not just about beautification; it is a cherished ritual that brings families and communities together.

The women discussed their plans for cooking traditional dishes, shopping for new clothes, and the importance of the festival.

The room buzzed with laughter and the sweet scent of henna, a testament to the joy and camaraderie that Eid brings to their lives.

Market vendors have noted a significant increase in the sale of henna cones and related products this Eid. "The excitement and anticipation for Eid-ul-Azha are palpable, and the rush for henna is a clear sign of that," said a vendor in the busy Goni Khan Market near the city center Lal Chowk.

This scene in Srinagar is mirrored throughout the Valley, where local henna artists have set up stalls in anticipation of high demand. Many of these artists have honed their craft over years, skillfully transforming palms into canvases of intricate beauty.

As Monday approaches, the mehandi craze continues to grip the Valley, turning it into a vibrant display of patterns and colors.

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Published 16 June 2024, 08:58 IST

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