Holi is considered as one of the most revered and celebrated festivals of India and it is celebrated in almost every part of the country. It is also sometimes called as the “festival of love” as on this day people get to unite together forgetting all resentments and all types of bad feeling towards each other.
The great Indian festival lasts for a day and a night, which starts in the evening of Purnima or the Full Moon Day in the month of Falgun. It is celebrated with the name Holika Dahan or Choti Holi on first evening of the festival and the following day is called Holi. In different parts of the country it is known with different names.
The Hindu festival of Holi signifies the end of winter and the coming of beautiful spring. Originally, the bright flowers which blossomed during this season were used to make the Holi colours. However, with the festival’s mass popularity, inexpensive and synthetic colours, which can have many health hazards, started flooding the market. This Holi, keep yourself and the environment safe by making your own natural colours at home.
The synthetic dyes used in the colours that we buy from the market contain harmful chemicals, which can cause mild health problems ranging from allergies, itchiness, eye puffiness, giddiness to serious issues like blindness, renal failure, cancer, etc. When we wash ourselves after playing with these toxic colours, these chemicals get into the environment and contaminate the soil and ground water, and spoil the natural habitat.
Let me share with you some ideas on how to make safe and environment-friendly colours for Holi. This will help us protect ourselves from the potential damage done by the synthetic dye-based colours.
1. Yellow Colour
Take two teaspoons of Turmeric powder (haldi) and mix it with 4 teaspoons of gram flour (besan). Both these ingredients have magical effect on the skin. Instead of gram flour, you can also use ordinary flour (atta), wheat flour (maida), fuller`s earth (multani mitti) or even talcum powder.
2. Green Colour
Take pure henna powder (mehendi), mix it with an equal quantity of gram flour to get a lovely green colour. The henna powder should not have Indian Gooseberry (Amla) mixed in it as it will render a brownish colour. Dry henna does not leave any colour on the face or body
3. Pink Colour
Take one beetroot, grate it and soak in 1 litre of water to get a wonderful magenta colour. You can also boil the mixture and dilute it before use.
Alternatively, boil onion peels in water for a pinkish colour. Make sure to remove the peels before using them.
4. Blue Colour
Take dry blue hibiscus , grind them and get a beautiful blue powder.
You can also use simple indigo for a true blue colour. Though indigo powder is readily available in the market, it is advisable to take dried Indigo leaves, grind them and make the colour.
5. Red Colour
Red Sandal Wood powder has been used for time immemorial for skin problems. It renders a bright red colour and can be used as red Gulal. Saffron can also be used for an orangish colour.
6. Brown Colour
Take equal quantities of tea and coffee powder to make brown colour. First mix it in hot water and then take the soaked leaves in a muslin cloth, tie it and dip it in some more hot water. Keep repeating the process for the desired amount of colour.
7. Black colour
Soak dried gooseberry (amla) overnight in an iron vessel and strain the black liquid or Mix all the above colours (red, blue, green and brown) to get a brownish black powder.
Wishing you a very joyous, happy, safe and eco-friendly colourful Holi!