Holi a colourful festival : Prashant Mendiratta

Holi is one of the 2 major festivals celebrated in India with great fervor and enthusiasm; the other one bring Diwali.

Holi1The festival has many purposes. First and foremost, it celebrates the beginning of the new season, spring. Originally, it was a festival that commemorated good harvests and the fertile land. The other major purpose is to forget petty enmities and meet and greet everyone with an open heart.

Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colors and saying farewell to winter. It also has a religious purpose, commemorating events present in Hindu mythology. Although it is the least religious holiday, it is probably one of the most exhilarating ones in existence.

Great excitement can be seen in people for the play of colours. Shops and offices remain closed for the day and people get all the time to get crazy and whacky. Bright colours of gulal fill the air and people take turns in pouring colour water over each other. Children take special delight in spraying colours on one another with their pichkaris and throwing water balloons and passers by. Women and senior citizen form groups called tolis and move in colonies – applying colours and exchanging greetings. Songs, dance on the rhythm of dholak and mouthwatering Holi delicacies are the other highlights of the day.

holi2Holi was traditionally played by making colors from flowers. However, chemicals and other toxic substances slowly replaced flowers and herbs in the colors. During Holi festival, demand for color are very high and some unscrupulous traders mix chemical dyes to base material such as starch, wheat flour and mica dust to prepare cheap quality fragrant dyes. These harsh chemicals in Holi colors can cause itching and rashes. Ensure you take following safety measures to protect your skin.

Use natural, skin-friendly and herbal colors or the ones made by reputed companies using natural products.  Apply a nice layer of oil to your hair before playing Holi so that residue from the dyes does not get stuck to your hair and scalp.Ensure that your eyes remain protected at all times. Wash with plenty of clean water should any color get into your eyes accidentally.

See a doctor if the irritation still persists.

Holi3

If you are playing Holi, apply a thick layer of coconut or any oil on your body and hair until they glisten and you become slippery. To save your teeth from hard-to-remove stains from colored dyes, wear dental caps.

Colors such as Gaudy purple, green and yellow, orange etc have more harmful chemicals in them and should be avoided. Try to save yourself off from all possible attacks on the face. In case such attempts fail, keep your eyes and lips tightly shut.Wear clothes that can cover maximum part of the body and apply a thick layer of a good quality cream or oil to your skin.

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