Weddings and marriage ceremonies are important parts of Turkish culture. These ceremonies, in which the country's culture is reflected most beautifully and enjoyably, are based on deep-rooted traditions. These traditions, which have been preserved for many years, have become the cultural heritage of Turkey. Everyone who gets married in Turkey fulfills these traditions with great pleasure. One of the important parts of the culture related to marriage is the henna night. If you want to learn more about traditional Turkish henna nights, you should continue reading our article.
Before the marriage ceremony, families and friends get together. On a henna night, traditional folk songs are sung, henna gets applied on the bride's palm and the groom's pinky finger. Although it differs from region to region, the traditional henna nights are usually held at the bride's father's house the day before the wedding. Only women are at that home that night.
Preparations begin the day before the henna night when the groom's family sends henna and dried nuts to the bride's family's house. On the morning of henna, flags and tulle are hung on the door of the house, giving the signal that the wedding has begun.
After the night prayer, the guests come to the bride's family. Dried nuts, sweets, henna halvah are offered to the guests. Afterward, the bride wears a local dress or an elegant dress, then comes to sit in the room accompanied by single girls carrying candles.
The bride watches in silence as the single girls and guests sing and dance. The reason for all this sadness in the bride is the bitterness in her since she will leave her father's house. After a short music and dancing ceremony, the henna ritual begins.
The bride wears a dress called bindallı, embroidered with branches and leaves on velvet, and covers her head with an embroidered veil of red tulle. The task of preparing and applying the henna is given to a happily married woman. After the henna is prepared in a copper bowl, it is placed on the henna tray decorated with candles. A family elder carries a tray of henna while single girls sing folk songs around the bride with candles in their hands.
It is customary for the bride to cry at henna nights. The other women circle her, singing sad songs until the bride cries. Women apply henna to the bride's right hand and wrap it with a handkerchief or muslin, and put gloves on the bride's hand.
Another custom related to the henna night is the saying "The bride does not open her hand". When the person who applies the henna says, "The bride does not open her hand," the mother-in-law puts a piece of gold in the bride's hand as a henna gift.
After the henna is applied, sherbet and food are served, and the bride has fun with the guests.