Holi is a festival that celebrates the triumph of ‘good’ over ‘evil’. Even though Holi is commonly associated with colours, the real reason of celebrating Holi, lies in its soul.
“Holi” in its literal sense signifies “burning” which comes from an ancient story. Actually, as per Hindu mythology, Hiranyakashipu was a demon king who wanted to take revenge for his younger brother’s death, who was killed by Lord Vishnu. The fiend king performed serious repentance and prayers for many years to gain super power. And thus, he was granted a boon. The arrogant king soon started to believe he was God himself and ordered everybody to worship him instead of God. The king had a son, named Prahalad, who was an avid devotee of Vishnu. Even after his father’s consistent order, he continued worshipping Vishnu. It was then, that his father decided to burn him to death. Hiranyakashipu asked his sister Holika, who was immuned to fire to sit on a pyre with Prahalad in her lap. However, Prahalad’s sincere devotion and complete submission saved him from fire, and on the contrary Holika was burnt to ashes. Thus, every year on the eve of Holi, this myth is relieved. We lit pyre in the form of huge bonfires, on the full moon night with an intention to burn the evil spirits.
Now, how colours became a part of this celebration, is linked to yet another legend. It is believed that Lord Krishna used to celebrate Holi with hues and thus popularized the same. He used to play Holi with his companions at Vrindavan and Gokul. They used to play pranks using colours and water, all across the village and in this way made this a popular practice in the village. The same ritual has transpired through the ages. And with time, the culture has spread its roots all over the India, turning it into an inevitable part of the festival.
Play ‘Safe’ Holi
Traditionally Holi was played with colours made from flowers. But today, in the name of colours, we have various chemicals and other toxic substances available in the market. During the festival of Holi, colours are very much in demand and thus, some fraud traders mix chemical dyes to base material such as wheat flour, starch and mica dust to prepare cheap quality, harmful fragrant dyes. These colours can be harmful for your skin and can cause severe allergies. Make sure to follow the listed safety measures to stay safe this Holi.
1. Cover maximum part of your body by wearing full sleeved clothes and trousers, also follow the old remedy of applying mustard oil/coconut oil/ olive oil/ vaseline all over your body on the night before and the morning of Holi, this will protect your skin from direct contact with colours and this will also help you to remove colours easily post Holi.
2. Use skin friendly herbal and natural colours like turmeric, henna, tea leaves, marigold flowers etc. They can be very good choice for playing Holi as they don’t harm your skin much. Also avoid the use of gaudy colours like grey, black, purple and dark blue and green, since they have more harmful chemicals in them.
3. Don’t forget to apply a good waterproof sunscreen and a thick moisturiser on your face and hand.
4. Drink plenty of water as your skin tends to lose moisture with the use of chemicals, so your skin must be hydrated time to time.
5. Using a toner before stepping out to play Holi is also a good decision, it helps to close the pores of your skin thereby minimizing the absorption of harmful chemicals.
6. A transparent nail polish in enough to take care of your nails, also use a cleanser instead of soap to remove the colours from your hands and face.
7. Remove Gulal with dry hands instead of using water as it spreads even more after water application.
8. Last but not the least, if any sort of allergy develops after the use of colours, immediately wash the area with cold water and apply a layer of calamine lotion and a good moisturiser.
Colour Me Dry: Save Water
Going without water for even a day can be a nightmare for all of us. As you prepare for the fun festival here are a few tips to save the valuable water!
* Measure the amount of water you need to play Holi and store it in separate container. Try and stick to that limit. Hold off any temptation of going overboard.
* Play with dry and natural colours. They wash off easily using little water. Avoid playing with balloons as a lot of water is wasted in that.
* Don’t play Holi inside, as this will make your house dirty. Play in an open area like garden or park, that will not require cleaning with water.
* Go for old dark coloured clothes, so that cleaning them does not require too much of water and effort.
* Use some washing soda to get rid of stubborn stains, it works wonders! But then use it sparingly or you may end up using more water unnecessarily to do away with the soapiness.
So, this Holi add colours to your celebration and also to the world around you by saving water!