H: Henna

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H is for Henna

These henna-ed hands belong to a friend who was visiting us here in Dahab. Henna is the Arabic word for the plant Lawsonia inermis, which has been used since ancient times for medicinal and decorative purposes. The temporary body tattoos are made from a henna paste. In Egypt, before the wedding night, the bride-to-be and her female friends and family will gather for the “henna night” – a night of music, dancing, eating, and just generally celebrating. The bride and her guests will receive henna decorations on their hands and feet. The tattoos fade after a couple of weeks.