Earlier, Holi colors used to be made of flowers of ‘tesu’ or ‘Palash’ tree and called gulal. The colors used to be best for the skin as no chemicals were used to create these. However, amidst of all definitions of festivals, the definition of colors as expected have modified with time.
These days’ individuals have started using harsh colors made of chemicals. Even fast colors are used to play Holi that is dangerous which is why many of us avoid celebrating this beautiful occasion. We should always enjoy this age ancient festival with the true spirit of celebration.
HOW WAS / IS HOLI CELEBRATED?
In ancient times, the festival celebrated a good harvest and also marked the onset of spring. Soon, it became a festival of enjoying spring’s many colors and bidding farewell to winter. In ancient times, the colors were customarily made from washable plant derived colors such as neem, turmeric, kumkum, and dhak.
In Mathura and Vrindavan, where the Hindu deity Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated for around sixteen days. In the rest of the world, the festival was observed for five days with Holika marking the beginning of the festival and Rangpanchami marking the end of the festivities.
Nowadays, Holi is celebrated for a maximum period of two days with synthetic colors, colorants, and dyes. Due to the commercial availability of attractive synthetic colors, the traditional colors have been replaced by synthetic colors.
Many days before the start of the festival, people start gathering wood and other combustible materials for the bonfire. In the evening of a day before the colorful Holi, people make a heap of woods and cow-dung cakes on the crossroads and light a bonfire in the myth of burning Holika’s Pootala and celebrate Holika Dahan ceremony each year.
On top of the bonfire is an effigy to signify Holika who tricked Prahlada into the fire. People who believe in Hindu religion gather around the fire to sing and dance. Some people make round and round of the burning Holika’s Pootala (Statue) and worship to get blessed with the prosperity and good health by burning all the sins and diseases in the fire.
Holi celebrations begin the morning after Holika Dahan. The day is for partying and enjoyment. Children and young people form groups armed with colors pichkaris(water guns).
People throw different kinds of colors and get their targets completely colored up. After a day of play with colors, people clean up, wash and bathe, sober up and dress up in the evening and greet friends and relatives by visiting them and exchanging sweets.
Holi Safety Information
As Holi gives a chance to slight social standards and for the most part “let free”, guys generally take it too far and act discourteously. Single ladies ought to abstain from going out alone out in the open spots amid Holi, as intoxicated youthful Indian folks regularly represent well-being risked.
These guys, who have expended over the top measures of bhang and different intoxicants, will improperly touch ladies and make an annoyance of them. They are typically in gatherings and can be exceptionally forceful. Occurrences of assault additionally do happen, which makes it vital to take legitimate care amid Holi.
In the event that you anticipate going out into the avenues on Holi, do as such at a young hour in the morning. Be back in your lodging by noontime before the men get excessively intoxicated. Numerous lodgings hold extraordinary Holi parties for their visitors in a sheltered situation.
Hope to have hued powder and water rubbed and tossed onto your face, mouth, and ears. Keep your mouth closed and secure your eyes however much as could reasonably be expected.
Tips to play holi in a safe and healthy way
The best tip for playing holi would be using the organic colors rather than using chemically used colors available in the market. However, if you are playing it with friends and family and natural colors are not available, in that case, you need to be extra cautious as the chemical used in the color could be harmful to your health.
This holy, say safe by keeping the following tips in mind before actually going on the field for playing holi.
Even though Holi is a joyous and exciting event for people of each and every age group, there are some safety measures and tips that all the people should follow for a joyous and disaster-free Holi:-
1. On the night before holy, bonfire is made on every streets and gathering. Make sure you keep yourself and your kids at distance from this bonfire. Make sure to wear nonsynthetic clothes so that the fire does not catch the clothes.
2. During your play holy, it is better to wear clothes that cover as much body as possible. Skin is the most important part and your skin can be very sensitive to chemicals of the colors. The chemicals like a lead oxide, aluminum bromide could easily penetrate your skin and cause various health hazards. To stay away from this, make sure you cover your entire body.
3. Try making organic colors rather than using the colors available in the market. Tips for making organic colors are mentioned above.
4. To save yourself from skin allergies, apply moisturizing lotions on your face, legs, arms and other exposed parts of your body. Use waterproof sunscreen to protect the skin from sun damage.
5. The chemicals of the colors are equally harmful to your hair. So, shield your hair from dirt, dust, and chemicals by massaging with hair oil. Also, wear a cap or hat whiling playing holi.
6. To protect your eyes from colors, you can wear sunglasses. Also, if you find colors entering your eyes, immediately rinse your eyes with cold water.
7. As far as possible, avoid playing holi outdoor with colors if you have allergies of dust and dirt.
8. There is a custom of drinking Bhang during holi. But, never consume it in large quantity if you are trying it for the first time. A large quantity of bhang can lead you to intoxicated and increased blood pressure. Also, never ever mix it with alcohol.
9. Avoid using pure water during holi. As much as possible, play holi with homemade colors that are harmless to everyone and this way you can save up precious water as well.
10. Rejuvenate your skin as soon as the festival ends with lots of moisturizers. Oil massage, plenty of water and a good amount of rest would be good for you to rejuvenate.
11. Avoid using warm water for removing colors from your body and hair. Rather than using cold water, you can use cold water in order to remove colors from your body. Warm water does nothing but fastens the coloring. Also, if you have dry color in your body, then it is better to remove it using dry hand rather than using cold or warm water as it spreads more quickly by using water.
12. Your skin is one of the most important and largest organs of your body. Wear clothes that protect your body from the synthetic colors and cover as much of your body as possible.
13. Apply a generous amount of moisturizer or lotion or oil on your face, arms, legs and other exposed part of the skin. Also, use a waterproof sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun.
14. Protect your hair from the synthetic colors, harmful chemicals, dirt and dust by applying oil before playing Holi. Wearing a cap or hat can also be a good idea.
15. Protect your eyes using sunglasses or lenses. If color enters the eye then clean it with cold water immediately.
16. Bhang is the official drink of Holi. But do not drink too much and do not mix bhang with alcohol.
17. Wash off color from the exposed body parts immediately if your skin starts irritating. Apply aloe vera gel and avoid sunlight. Sunlight increases irritation.
18. Use a mild soap and baby shampoo followed by a conditioner to remove the colors from your hair and skin.
19. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water before, after and during the festivities.
Holi symbolizes the victory of good over evil. It also signifies the victory of our higher objectives over our lower desires. It is the burning of our small, materialistic desires for our personal growth and self-development. Another important feature of Holi is its fun and excitement.
Contrary to popular belief, our life was given to us to make the most out of it. It is about living life to the fullest. It is a philosophy followed by people who are made for action. The festival of Holi is a vibrant, living knowledge that assists us to make our life a celebration. HAPPY HOLI!
Writer: Ranjan Poudel