In the afterglow of the Toronto Raptors’ historic NBA title win, a unique tribute to the newly-crowned champions is making waves online.
A number of brides have incorporated their love for the NBA team into their intricate henna art.
While many brides have modernized the ritual by incorporating meaningful symbols and images into their henna, Zahra Ansari is one of many brides who added a Toronto-themed twist to her design when her wedding celebrations coincided with Game 6 of the playoffs.
Close female family and friends gather for a Mehndi ceremony, a pre-wedding tradition for many Indian brides, during which the brides hands and feet are decorated in henna - or mehendi.
Ansari enlisted henna artist Sonia S. Randhawa to recreate the Raptors logo hours before the team took the court in San Francisco to clinch their first NBA title.
Later that day Ansari and her now-husband, Umair, gathered with their friends and family to take part in another pre-wedding ritual, their sangeeth, a night of music and dancing.
“We made sure to live-stream the game that night so that our guests could enjoy it,” Ansari told Yahoo Canada. “When there was an open dance floor announcement, most guests were watching the game. Once the Raptors won we had an epic dance party. It was so meaningful and special that we all got to watch the championship game together.”
The personal touch for her favourite team was a hit with her husband, who she explained is also a die-hard Raptors fan.
On June 16, while the rest of Canada was still riding the wave of Raptors-mania, Ansari and Umair were married in front of their family and friends at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North in Markham, Ont.
“I’m so happy that the Raptors have won,” Ansari said of the team’s success. “It was long overdue and I’m so glad we finally got the title of Champions because we truly are the best of the best. We the NORTH!”