The Festival of Colours: Holi

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Holi is a colourful and most fun-filled festival which is celebrated in the month of March, usually in the latter half of the month. It is a festival, with dancing, singing, and throwing of multi-colour powders and coloured water. Numerous legends and stories associated with Holi celebration make the festival more exuberant and vivid. The most popular one is related to the killing of Holika. The story centres on an arrogant king Hiranyakashyapu who wanted everyone in his kingdom to worship him. But his son Prahlad refused and worshiped Lord Vishnu instead. He attempts to kill his son but fails each time. Finally, the king’s sister Holika, who is said to be immune to fire, sits with the young boy in a huge fire pyre. However, the prince Prahlad emerges unscathed, while his aunt burns to death. Holi commemorates this event from mythology, and huge bonfires are burnt on the eve of Holi as its symbolic representation.

Holi is also a festival of love and unity and celebrates the triumph of good over evil. The festival is celebrated with lot of pomp in north India. It is celebrated with vibrant colours – these colours are actually colours of joy, colours of love and colours that fill our life with happiness to the core of our hearts. It adorns each life with its various hues.

This festival of colours also signifies the everlasting love between Radha and Krishna. Young Krishna is known to be very playful and mischievous. The story goes that as a child, Krishna was extremely jealous of Radha’s fair complexion since he himself was very dark. So Krishna’s doting mother Yashoda asked him to go and colour Radha’s face in whichever colour he wanted. In a mischievous mood, naughty Krishna applied colour on his beloved Radha’s face, making her one like him.

On this joyous occasion, people follow the tradition of smearing colour onto the faces of their friends and guests, playfully. Interestingly there is another version of Holi , called the Lathmar Holi played in some parts of Uttar Pradesh. While playing with colours is the essence of the festival, it can be at times very dangerous, in case you do not take precautions. This is because, in the present time, the colours available for Holi are made of harmful chemicals, which may prove to be hazardous if not used properly, without precautions. Therefore, you should take safety measures, if you want to ensure a joyous and colourful Holi. In the following lines, we have provided some safety tips for Holi.

  • The best option would be to play with natural homemade colours. Protect your skin and hair by using safe organic colours that are environment-friendly too
  • Use more of the red or pink colours which look good and can be easily taken off. Gaudy purple, green, yellow, orange have more harmful chemicals in them and should be avoided. Try picking the organic ones!
  • Make sure that your face is well creamed before and after the colour play
  • Oil your hair well, so that colour doesn’t stick on your hair and can be washed off easily later
  • Make sure that powder or any other product does not get inside your eyes. Eyes are extremely vulnerable on Holi because of the use of harmful chemicals in colours these days. Please ensure that your eyes remain protected at all times
  • Put on your old clothes so that you won’t have to take on the hassles of an immediate washing
  • There is a change in season as post winter spring creeps in. The thandai served during Holi is rich in dry fruits and spices which help further strengthen the immune system and protect against the changing seasons.
  • Avoid throwing water filled balloons or even being attacked by one!
  • At last, play with dry colours or use minimal water. Water is a resource that should not be wasted

With little care, have a colourful and safe Holi, the symbol of love and beauty in life!

 

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