Henna nights, which are organized as an entertainment within the scope of a kind of bachelor party and have an emotional scope; It is among our traditions that have been preserved since ancient times. Although there is no detailed information about the exact history of the henna night, it is said to have a history dating back to India in ancient times.
Henna night, which is held a few nights before the wedding, has the purpose of bringing good luck to the bride before the marriage, as well as farewell to her old home and farewell and welcome for her new journey towards her new family. Henna nights, which have both emotionality, sadness, tears and fun at the same time, have a very long historical scope.
What is Henna Night?
Henna night, which is a practice in many countries, has a slightly different scope in our country. For us, the henna night is not just a ceremony held one or two nights before the wedding in order to have fun. It is also a kind of farewell to the father's house where the bride was born, grew up and spent her years.
About the History of Henna Night
Although henna nights are thought to have a historical process dating back to the times of Paganism, it is a tradition that cannot be determined exactly when and where it started, considering the civilizations that have been constantly migrating for centuries.
History of Henna Night
At first, the offerings or sacrifices dedicated to the gods were decorated with henna; over time, henna appeared on the heads of women who were waiting to die, who were ready to die. During archaeological studies in the Çatalhöyük region; the fertility gods decorated with henna found on the hands of corpses in a tomb dating back to the seven thousand years BC show that this practice has a very old historical background.
According to some researchers, the henna tradition originated in India, while the people of India believe that henna dates back to the Mongol period. There are even those who argue that henna nights were first practiced in North Africa in ancient times.
Henna Night in Turkish Traditions
Henna, which has beauty, health and ceremonial value in terms of Turkish and Islamic traditions, has also been the subject of Dede Korkut stories. Henna, which is a kind of symbol of dedication or sacrifice, is burned for soldiers as a sacrifice to the homeland, for offerings as a sacrifice to Allah, and for the bride and groom as a sacrifice to their spouses.
Henna nights, which are believed to have a history dating back to the Prophet Muhammad, are therefore held on the night connecting Wednesday to Thursday. The henna night tradition is a ceremony unique not only to our country but also to Turks in different countries. Henna nights have been named differently in every region of our country and have continued to take their place among the ceremonies held before the wedding for centuries.
The bride, who is dressed in a red embroidered caftan, the symbol of innocence and chastity, is first seated on a chair placed in the middle according to our traditions and her head is covered with a red cheesecloth. Each step after that has a purpose.
The bride is made to cry with emotional songs. It is believed that the more she cries, the more happiness and prosperity will be in her home. The gold coin placed in the bride's palm by the groom's mother symbolizes abundance and fertility in her new home. Henna, which is burned on the bride by a woman who has been married only once and is happy with her husband, aims to bring her to the same peace and happiness.
Emotionality, fun, tears, different emotions are experienced at the same time at the henna night, and it is a separate tradition to give special gifts to the guests to remind them of this day. Recently, the groom-to-be also attends the henna night and accompanies the bride on this emotional and enthusiastic night.
Henna night is one of the essentials of Turkish traditions and customs before the wedding. However, I did not have information about its history dating back so far.
It is really a night that should be done separately for the girl's side and separately for the boy's side. Although the wedding is more formal, the henna night seems more intimate to me, I think it really must be done.