#1 Best Guide To Turkish Henna Night From A Local

Turkish Henna-Ling

Are you invited to a Turkish henna night? That’s awesome! I promise you’re going to have so much fun. If you want to learn what happens during a traditional henna night, I’ve prepared this guide for you!

Turkish henna night is like a bride-to-be party in a traditional way, and it’s one of the most important Turkish wedding customs for brides. If you’re invited to a henna night or planning one for yourself, you should know the rituals, which I’ll explain in this blog post. So, let’s get started!

What Is Turkish Henna Night?

The henna night is a traditional party organized for the bride. Henna ceremonies are usually held the night before the wedding, so it’s the last night the bride will stay at her father’s house. This is why it can be both emotional and sad, but also fun!

Women invited to henna night should dress according to the spirit of the night. The bride’s close girlfriends can wear bridesmaid dresses, and the bride’s mother and mother-in-law are expected to be as stylish as the bride.

What Happens During A Henna Night?

The guests (which are only women) and family members gather together at a venue or the bride’s house. The first treats are distributed. Afterward, the bride comes to the hall in a traditional dress called “bindallı,” accompanied by single girls carrying candles, and sits aside.

While the guests sing traditional songs and play folk dances, the bride watches them silently. Then, it’s time to apply the henna into the bride’s palm. Once the henna ceremony is completed, the bride dances and has fun with the guests.

Henna Dress-Turkish Henna-Ling

Traditional Henna Dress: Bindallı

It’s a tradition for the bride to wear a dress called “bindallı” at a henna night. Preferred mostly in red, bindallı comes in various colors such as green and blue (mine was green!). Bindallı includes two pieces: the upper part of the dress is an embroidered velvet kaftan, and the bottom part is usually a plain white dress. Some brides also use hair accessories like tiaras, belts, necklaces, and earrings to complement the look.

The Ritual Of Applying Henna

The henna ceremony is the most important moment of the night! After a short music and dancing show, the henna application ceremony begins. During this ceremony, a veil made of red tulle is used to cover the bride’s head.

The task of preparing and applying henna is given to a happily married woman. Henna is usually prepared in a copper bowl and placed on a henna tray decorated with candles. Then, the bride’s single girlfriends sing emotional folk songs around her with candles in their hands and try to make her cry. Afterward, the happily married woman from the family comes with the henna tray, applies it to the bride’s right palm, and wraps her hand with a glove made from red tulle.

What Is The Meaning Of Henna?

It’s believed that henna is applied to spouses to ensure the continuation of their love for a lifetime. It’s also believed that it will protect couples from evil.

Also, henna symbolizes dedication. Applying it to the bride-to-be’s hand means that she dedicates her life to her husband. In addition, the red color of henna, which has a unique smell, is thought to trigger feelings of love and affection.

Henna Night Rituals-Turkish Henna-Ling

Henna Night Rituals

Although henna night traditions vary from region to region, there are a few traditions that have common ground. Let’s take a look at the most well-known henna night traditions:

Making the bride cry: Before the henna ceremony, the bride, who will leave her family house, is made to cry. Before the henna is applied, she sits in the middle and the girls surrounding her sing heartfelt henna songs such as “Yüksek Yüksek Tepekere” and “Kınayı Getir, Aney.”

The bride does not open her hand: While the henna is being applied, the woman applying it begins to call out, “Gelin elini açmıyor!” (The bride does not open her hand!) For the bride to open her hand, her future mother-in-law places a gold coin in her palm as the henna gift.

Distributing the henna to the guests: According to tradition, guests who apply henna on their hands are believed to have good luck and fortune.

The tradition of breaking the jug: The game of breaking the jug, which came from the Balkans to Anatolia, is another tradition performed at henna nights. Things such as money, candies, and chocolate are filled into a clay jug and given to the bride. Then, the groom sits on a chair and watches the bride dance around him, waving the jug in her hand. Unexpectedly, she throws the jug to the ground and breaks it in front of the groom.

Modern Henna Nights-Turkish Henna-Ling

Modern Henna Nights

Today, henna nights have changed a little compared to the past. The henna night, which was previously held at the bride’s home, is now held in places such as ball halls, hotels, restaurants, or country gardens. While in the past only henna bags and nuts were distributed to the guests, now henna souvenirs have begun to be distributed just like wedding candies at weddings.

One of the biggest changes in customs is the bride sitting quietly and waiting until the henna is applied. Now, after the guests arrive, the bride-to-be shows up in colorful costumes and performs a dance show with a group of dancers. In recent years, Indian-themed henna organizations with Indian dances and songs have become especially popular.

Turkish Words Related To Henna Night

Now that you know more about this Turkish tradition, here is some useful vocabulary related to henna night you should know:

Applying HennaKına Yakmak
Henna TrayKına Tepsisi
Henna Night JewelryKına Gecesi Takıları
Henna ScentKına Kokusu
Henna KaftanKına Kaftanı
Placing CandlesMum Dikme
Tradition of Applying HennaKına Sürme Geleneği

I’d recommend you learn at least some basic Turkish phrases before attending a henna night so you can enjoy it without feeling left out due to the language barrier. Why don’t you use the Ling app to learn Turkish in a short time? You can download it from the App Store or Play Store and start a 7-day free trial!

Final Words

In summary, Turkish henna night is about saying farewell to your family house (figuratively, of course) and celebrating the new life ahead of you with your spouse. When I was preparing for my wedding, I wasn’t sure about having a henna night, since it costs a lot of money to rent a venue, catering, dancers, costumes, etc. But I’m happy I had it because I shared a lot of good memories with my friends and family that night!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.