Holi is just a day away and the atmosphere is already electric and crazy with people preparing for the celebration. Also known as a ‘Festival of Colors’, it originates from India but now is celebrated all around the world. On this day, lord Vishnu appeared as Narasimha (half-man and half-lion) and killed Hiranyakashyap at dusk on the steps of his porch. On the eve of Holi, typically at or after sunset, the pyre is lit, signifying Holika Dahan. The ritual symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Holi is also celebrated to welcome spring and bring renewal to the people with a forgive-and-forget attitude.
Holi is a street party with people smearing colors on each other, overwhelmed by smiles and saying HAPPY HOLI so many times that you may end up uttering it in your sleep too. Dancing along on the Bollywood songs… (Rang barse ..being the top on the list..where every woman feels like she is Rekha and every man behaves like Amitabh) but no one even close to them. Thanks to Amitabh and Rekha to give us an evergreen song.
If you are like me, then you can definitely relate to this. No matter how hard you try and safeguard yourself from the color smearing crowd, hiding away in a safe nook …but ding dong and there you find one such typical aunty whose sole goal is to reach out to all the hidden corners and fish out people like us. A 5 to 10 minutes of drama….“arre why aren’t you coming to play, no you must come, arre yeh to shakan hain todha toh lagana hein chaheye”, and then finally darte darte you offer her your cheek and there…. she smears your whole face with color. Mission Accomplished! Does this sound familiar to you? Some like it some hate it but you definitely can’t avoid it. Thats HOLI.
But for all those Holi lovers here is my earnest request, please please…
CELEBRATE AN ECO-FRIENDLY HOLI
Unfortunately, in modern times Holi does not stand for all things beautiful. Like many other festivals, Holi too has become ruthlessly commercialized and is a serious environmental threat. To de-pollute Holi and make it in sync with nature, as it is supposed to be, several social and environmental groups are promoting a more natural way of celebrating Holi. And so am I.
The aim of this post is to bring awareness among people about the harmful effects of modern ways of Hoil celebration and encourage people to celebrate an eco-friendly Holi. Here are some simple DIY natural Holi colors at home.
Yellow Color – Mix two tsp of haldi/turmeric powder with double quantity of besan (gram flour).
Red Color – Dry the petals of red rose in the sun and after they become crisp grind them in a mixer and add a little flour to it to increase the volume.
Pink Color – Grind beetroot to make a paste and let it dry in the sun. Mix with besan or wheat flour to increase volume.
There are also many DIY videos available on YouTube to make natural Holi colors at home. Please check them out.
PLAY DRY HOLI
The idea of dry Holi seems alien at first, especially as the climate becomes warmer around Holi and the water provides welcome relief from heat. Nowadays, lots of housing societies and private parties also host ‘Rain Dance’ where tons and tons of water is wasted. Please consider that lot of urban as well as rural areas have very little water supply everyday. It is a sinful waste, so please play and promote dry Holi.
CAPE TOWN WATER CRISIS, WE CAN BE NEXT
Please watch this video to decide whether or not dry holi is the right step that we must take today to save our future generation from this crisis.( I do not in any way intend to kill the essence of the festival but just want to appeal for a dry Holi)
Holi can be lot of fun just with colors, mouth watering sweets, songs and dance. However in the midst of celebrations one must not neglect the skin and hair care. Follow these simple tips to save yourself from the side-effects of colors:
BEFORE PLAYING HOLI
Body – To prevent the harmful chemical of the colors to penetrate through the skin it is very important to massage plenty of moisturizer or oil (coconut, olive or almond oil based on your skin type) on your body.
Clothes – You may be tempted to wear comfortable shorts and tees but wear clothes that can cover maximum part of your body so as to prevent exposing your skin to colors, chemicals and harsh sun rays. Preferably, wear a full sleeves shirt and full-length jeans. Part of the fun is heading out in white, knowing you’ll never look the same again!
Skin – Do not go for a bleach, facial or waxing a week before and after Holi as the chemicals may irritate your skin.
Face – Apply a waterproof sunscreen on your face to protect from the harmful UV rays of the sun as well as to prevent tanning.
Lips – Apply generous amount of Vaseline on your lips before exposing them to the harsh chemicals
Eyes – Wear old sunglasses or may be spectacles (not just cause its a hot look, but because your eyes will thank you!! ) to protect them from the irritation that can be caused due to the hazardous colors.
Ears – Put cotton plugs in your ears to prevent the water from accidentally going into the ear and causing any ear infection. Also apply generous amount of Vaseline on ears.
Nails – Apply a dark colored nail paint to protect the nails from getting colored.
Hair – To prevent your hair from getting damaged by the harmful color chemicals, take 2 tbsp of almond oil and add a few drops of lemon juice to it. Apply this on your hair as it acts as a protective shield. The best is to wear a bandanna, scarf or a cap to protect your hair before you let colors get the better of it.
AFTER PLAYING HOLI
Bath – Before hitting the bath clean your nails using an acetone free nail paint remover.
Even after so much precaution, permanent colors might take some time, but with little patience and lots of moisturization, it will definitely come off soon. Make a paste of 2 tbsp besan, pinch of turmeric, tsp honey, tbsp milk and apply on your body and leave for it to dry for 30 minutes. This will help the harsh and strong colors to easily come off and you may not have to scrub hard and irritate your skin further.
An important tip – Drink plenty of water during the day and a glass of pineapple juice after the celebrations, to flush out inhaled or consumed colors.
Have a Happy and a safe Holi !
be bold. be beautiful
If you are still reading then please like, share and comment on your preparations for the holi festival.