Ladies Night

Tonight is ladies night in Fes. Almost as a follow-on from International Women’s Day which was on Tuesday this week, the girls from Leeds are having a Henna party. I’m really looking forward to it.For those of you who don’t know, Henna is a plant extract which is used across the Middle East and Asia as hair dye and a cosmetic for weddings and other occasions. The decoration of the skin using Henna is called Mehandi or Mehendi, and it is incredibly popular here in Morocco. There is even a part of the Medina called the Henna Souk, which is dedicated exclusively to this product.

One of the Leeds ladies is apparently a star when it comes to creating these amazing patterns, which can come in a million and one different styles, ranging from quite simple to ridiculously complicated. Women get Henna decorations on their hands and feet prior to weddings in particular.

Here in Morocco, if you don’t know someone who does it, then the best way to do it is to hire a woman to come to your house. She decorates your hands using either a syringe or a piping bag with Henna paste, which is the colour of the designs in the picture. The idea is that the longer you leave the paste on your skin, the better the design will be. As it dries, it dyes the skin underneath a fantastic brown-orange colour. If you leave it for two or three hours, the pattern can last for weeks, depending on how well your skin takes the dye. I’ll hopefully have some pictures of mine for you, when I get back tomorrow. Hopefully. See you then.

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