Holi was my annual highlight throughout my student life, and it also marked the beginning of summer which was all about vacations. It was one of the festivals that left telltale signs the next day, colourful fingernails, green scalps, red ears – I remember everybody turning up at school the following day, stained with colour and trying to explain that they did indeed try to wash it all off!
That the colours did not wash out is actually the least worrying part of the experience – over time one learned about the toxic components in holi colours, especially when mass produced. Allergic reactions, peeling skin, aggrevation of illnesses such as asthma, compromised eyesight – the horror stories pour out when you start reading up about it all.
Does this mean we have to let go of the fun and frolic? Does life get boring when we choose safer alternatives?
Holi is an ancient tradition, celebrated much before the factories began produce synthetic, bright colours. Traditionally, one made ones own colours, using ingredients like rice flour, turmeric, dried rose petals, dried hibiscus, dried leaves and so on. If you look at the season, this makes sense, since this is soon after rice is harvested, when the weather is dry, yet spring has arrived and everything is in bloom around us!
So before you despair about chemicals ruining your favourite festival, we are set with a bunch of tips to make your holi-day, a day worth remembering!
5 Tips to a Chemical Free, Happy Holi
Choose Natural Holi Colours
The best way to know that everything in your holi is completely safe, is to make your holi colours yourselves. There are wonderful resources available online to guide you through this process, and if you are looking for a crash course and have a group of participants, we will be happy to help you organise it. Just get in touch with us!
For those of us who are happy supporting a local, artisan business instead, there are several people who make holi colours at home. ECOEXIST do a fabulous job making holi colours in attractive boxes, supporting communities even as they do so!
Select a Traditional Skin Care Routine
Remember those long oil baths that are now only reserved for Diwali? Bring in some of that skin care into your holi as well! Choose natural, cold pressed oils for a massage, before and after your holi celebration. Be sure to protect your skin against the harsh sun. Several natural remedies exist, using aloe, sandalwood, turmeric and dahi! So dig out your grandmother’s favourite recipe and choose that for your own skin care!
There are a range of wonderful products, handcrafted and personally made by PARAMA NATURALS, if you choose to look for products that you can buy.
Make a Homemade Holi Feast
There is no ready made solution for this one! Nothing beats home made foods when it comes to preparing for holi. Maharashtra makes it favourite puran poli. Do add your comments below about what you need to have on your plate to make your holi complete!
See Puran Poli Recipe!
No need to be Wet and Wretched
Say no to that party with the rain dance, and we can avoid the giant swimming pools this holi. Rain dances waste a lot of water and swimming pools have to be drained out completely and cleaned post a holi party. We are in the beginning of Summer, and are watching the weather get worse with Climate Chaos, so let us choose to be responsible when it comes to Holi.
Make it all about Community
Holi has always been about community. It was meant to be celebrated in families and neighbourhoods, to bring people together. Remember to include everybody, drop past differences and make this a festival that is only about joy!
GOODBYNATURE PRESENTS HOLI COLLECTION 2020
We encourage that you get going an make your holi special your own special way – and if you need help finding the right products, have a look at our recommended HOLI COLLECTION 2020!
Read more about toxic holi colours here: