Holi : The Colours of Nature.
Manisha and Lolita are the force behind many eco-friendly efforts and believe in preserving and befriending nature to enable a better life. Their banner eCoexist has been involved in many causes that educate and provide a more earth-friendly solution to the modern day problems of pollution. From celebrating the Ganesh festival with idols made from natural clay to creating luxuriant and safe colours under the name of Rangdulaar, they encourage people to adopt more planet-friendly choices. Our guest bloggers for this post, you can find their eco-friendly, child-safe colours on www.rangdulaar.com.
What is so unique about Holi?
The festival of Holi originated in the celebration of the arrival of spring.
In March and April, trees burst out into blossoms and colours fill our horizon. It is also a time when the sun has started his northward journey and days start getting warmer.
Beyond the myths around Holika Dahan, the second day of the Holi festival called Dhuleti is all about colour and water.
Holi is the one Indian festival where people of all castes and creeds get together and colour each other joyfully and vibrantly.
It is more of a social gathering than a religious one and brings society together in a grand celebration.
Are Holi Colours Safe?
Originally the colour powders used for Holi came from flowers and leaves.
However, in recent times they have been replaced by toxic chemicals that contain heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium.
These can harm the skin and eyes and also affect the lungs.
Can I Make Safe Holi Colours at Home?
It is very easy to make your own natural Holi colours at home using food ingredients.
Turmeric is a powerful spice and yellow pigment which also has medicinal properties for the skin.
Beetroot gives you a deep pink magenta colour, and spinach can give a rich green.
Additionally, you can also use easily available flowers such as marigold and extract colours from them simply by drying and powdering or by boiling them to bring out the dye.
Add these to fillers such as rice flour and cornstarch and you have safe and natural colours which you can play with.
You can also make pastes using water or coloured liquids for use in pichkaris.
Can I buy such natural colours in the market too?
eCoexist has been promoting the use of natural colours since 2006 under their Safe Holi campaign.
They have developed the colours as a livelihood opportunity for many underprivileged groups ranging from women farmers, women prisoners and mentally and physically challenged adults.
The Rang Dulaar Natural Holi colours were developed as a brand by eCoexist that has now led the way for many other such groups to learn and replicate.
Any Tips for Ensuring the Colours are Indeed Natural?
When you buy Holi colours in the market make sure that you check the ingredients of the colours and know who is making them.
Check to see if the colours have been tested for safety and understand the safety norms being followed by the brand you buy.
When you play Holi convince your friends and family to also play with safe and natural colours so that the colours they put on you are safe for your skin!
Take your Holi celebration a step beyond your entertainment and go out to play with those groups who rarely have a good time.
eCoexist organises Holi Hearts parties for several disadvantaged groups – we play Holi with differently-abled adults, with homeless people and underprivileged kids too.
In this way expand your Holi celebration to spread joy and good cheer amongst those whose lives are filled with challenge and strife!
This is the true spirit of Holi!