Henna (Mehndi) Henna has been used for centuries to dye skin, hair, and fingernails, as well as fabrics. It is used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. The art of henna has been practiced for over thousand of years in many countries. It symbolises art, beauty, and happiness. Henna is also known to have natural cooling properties, people living in the desert, for centuries, have been using henna to cool down their bodies. They apply it on their palms and soles of the feet to get a cooling effect. It is known that Cleopatra herself, used henna for beauty. During weddings, henna symbolises beauty and happiness. Traditionally, henna is used for special occasions like holidays, birthdays and weddings in Africa, Middle East, Pakistan and India. There is a special day set aside for the bride, her family and friends apply henna. The night is filled with eating and dancing. The bride gets extensive henna patterns done on her hands, feet and some their back and thighs. Nowadays, many brides prefer their henna done prior to the event night so that they can enjoy the occasion. By the way, no household chores until the stain fades, for the bride!!!