I’m Loving: Eid Mubarak! It’s Henna Time!

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Hello All,

Today is Eid (Eid Mubarak!) and I’m writing from the past because I’ll be having too much fun while this goes up (Brunch! Bowling! Lucy!). There are two Eids a year for muslims; this one is called Eid al-Fitr and marks the end of Ramadan. That’s thirty days of fasting (no food or water from sunrise to sunset).

To celebrate, this past Sunday, I was dragged by my family to get henna. Now for those of you who don’t know, henna is a dye that comes from a plant used to create cool designs on your skin (it can also be used for hair). It’s reddish brown, and I just got the ink rather than straight up henna as you can see below to try something different.

Henna. Photograph by Ardo Omer. 2014.

Henna Design Front View Photographed by Me.

The black ink can be used with the henna or on it’s own. Henna can last for weeks, but how long it stays depends on the way you remove the hardened mud-like substance once the henna dries (scrape, rub or peel it off, DON’T wash it off) —  or what you do immediately after it’s removable. As soon as you scrape off the dried mud, spray your hands with perfume or attar. The best time to apply henna is an hour or two before bed, for this very reason.

The last time I got henna was nine years ago — after waiting four hours the day before Eid, I remember why. Getting henna is one of the many ways of celebrating Eid and, even though I waited an obscene amount of time, I’m pretty happy that I got it.

Henna. Photograph by Ardo Omer. 2014.

Henna Design Side View Photographed by Me.

Once again, happy Eid Mubarak to those celebrating. You don’t have to be Muslim, or Middle Eastern, to get your henna on. So try it out for yourself!

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About Author

Former senior editor for WWAC. BA in criminals (a minor in daydreams). Batman seeks her advice constantly. Bylines at Book Riot, Teen Vogue, Slate, The Toast and Hyperallergic.

2 Comments

  1. Annie Bulloch on

    So pretty! When I was in college, a friend and I tried out a home henna kit from Whole Foods. The results were okay, but nothing as cool and elaborate as yours.

    I never knew henna was associated with Eid. Sadly, I think a lot of people around my age learned about it in tents at Lollapalooza, or a local Renaissance faire, so I thought it was a hippie thing. Apologies for any accidental mid-’90s cultural appropriation!

    • Annie, that’s so on the money. So many dolphin and rose “henna tattoos” at music festivals, even today.

      But I’ve had it done for Hindu and Muslim friends’ weddings. So fun.