Celebrate With Henna Hands

Celebrate With Henna Hands lesson plan

Trace around your hands to imitate the look of intricate henna designs on paper. These traditional, temporary tattoos are used to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, Hindu weddings, and other auspicious occasions.

  • 1.

    Ancient Egyptians decorated mummies with henna. Over time, the tradition for celebrating auspicious occasions with beautiful henna body art spread through Africa, India, and Arabic countries. Henna-decorated hands now are common around the world when people celebrate events such as Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan. Find out more about this ancient tradition, and then show what you’ve learned with henna hand designs on paper.

  • 2.

    Trace around your hands, spread apart, on construction paper with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. Between them, draw a Muslim girl, Hindu bride, or other female celebrating a special occasion. Color her skin with Crayola Multicultural Markers. Color her clothing (traditional or contemporary) with your colored pencils.

  • 3.

    Use a brown or red Crayola Fine Line Marker and your imagination to create henna-like designs on the hands. Make the art intricate and delicate. Write or present a description of the event that is being celebrated and the meaning of the symbols.


  • Students research the historic and contemporary uses of henna body art in various cultures and for several different occasions.
  • Students realize that henna is a reddish-brown natural plant substance that can be painted on skin as a temporary tattoo.
  • Students prepare a drawing showing a female (in appropriate dress for the occasion) with her hands decorated with designs made by henna-colored markers.


  • Learn about other ways in which Islamic families observe Ramadan and celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Create a display explaining the significance of these events.
  • Some children construct lanterns to usher in the Islamic holiday of Ramadan. Find out what these lanterns look like and make your own lanterns.
  • Younger children and those with special needs could outline each other’s hands to fill with designs.
  • Assessment: Verify the accuracy of the clothing and suitability of the henna hand decorations for the occasion.