Happy Holi

…in advance. This is something I got as a forward and I figured I’d pass it on to all of you who want to play with safe colours. If there are mistakes or typos, please excuse them – haven’t had a chance to sub it!

The legend from which the tradition of playing colours started is full of colours in itself. The story goes that the very colourful god, Lord Krishna was jealous of his soul mate Radha’s fair complexion, since he himself was very dark.
Naughty young Krishna complained to his mother Yashoda about this injustice of nature. To placate the child, doting mother asked Krishna to apply colour on Radha’s face and change her complexion according to his choice.
Playful and mischievous Krishna appreciated the idea and implemented it. The game of applying colours thus gained so much popularity that it became a tradition and later it turned out to be a full fledged festival.
Till date, lovers desired to colour and be coloured by their mates. The application of colours has in a way become an expression of love.A great way to play holi is with colour.but in order to avoid chemicals in the readily available ones in the market,here are some natural substitutes;

1. Green-use henna powder, separately or mixed with flour. Also finely powder the leaves of the Gulmohur for a green colour or crush the tender leaves of the wheat plant to obtain a natural safe green Holi colour.

2. Yellow– Use turmeric powder with double quantity of besan (gram flour) Flowers like), Yellow Chrysanthemums, Black Babul yield different shades of yellow. Dry the petals of these flowers in shade and crush them to obtain a fine powder.

3. Red – Red sandalwood powder or dry red hibiscus flowers in shade and powder to make a lovely red colour. Red colour can also be obtained from juice of tomatoes and carrots. This can be diluted with sufficient quantity of water to remove the stickiness.

4. Blue – The Jacaranda flowers can be dried in the shade and ground to obtain a beautiful blue powder also crush the berries (fruits) of the Indigo plant and add to water for desired colour strength

5. Magenta -Slice or grate one Beet root. Soak in 1 litre of water for a wonderful magenta or boil the peels of 10 – 15 pink onions in half litre of water for an orangish-pink colour. Remove the peels before using to remove the smell.

6. Saffron– Mix a pinch of sandalwood powder in one litre of water for an instant, beautiful and fragrant saffron colour or soak a few stalks of saffron/kesar in 2 tablespoons of water. Leave for few hours and grind to make a fine paste. Dilute with water for desired colour strength.

7. Brown – Kattha ,the one eaten in pan, when mixed with water will give a brownish colour or boil tea or coffee leaves in water. Cool and use.

8.Black – Boil dried fruits of Amla / Indian Gooseberry in an iron vessel and leave overnight. Dilute with water and use. Extract juice of black grapes and dilute with sufficient quantity of water to remove stickiness.

Have a safe and happy holi!


20 thoughts on “Happy Holi

  1. sigh…i do miss holi! it’s one of my favourite festivals. but in chennai it comes and goes like a ship in the night 😦

    hope you had a wonderful one and yes hope everyone used those safe colours!

    have a good day 🙂

  2. Very informative.

    It is wonderful how Krishna is credited with so many joyous customs. It is unfortunate that uncouth elements today twist around these very traditions to suit their loutish behaviour. What issupposed to be an expression of affection among loved ones and friends becomes something so unsavoury in the hands of the wrong sort.

    • Sorry to be such a wet blanket. But although I love playing Holi, I am originally from Mumbai where we have it upto here what with Holi, Govinda and Ganesh visarjan. Those balloons filled with muck. Yuk!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • you have no idea. in UP the second day is called keechad ki holi – they throw passers by into the drains. most people lock themselves into the house with provisions for two days. Agra has a kapda-phad holi where they tear your clothes up for a week if you get caught. so you’re probably safest in bombay! Delhi starts pelting water balloons as a form of eveteasing – looking to hit women in the chest. a friend got hit in the eye and her lense cut her eye…. years ago

  3. I was told a different story : Its a farewell to winter and a colourful welcome to summer and spring.Isn’t that true?

  4. Hope you all had a wonderful, fun Holi! I read your post too late to pass on the info, and sit here now with flaming purple cheeks, blast the revelers who use those darned-if- they-wash-off colors 😦

  5. Very nice gharelu nooske :))) I played holi in Calcutta with gulal and water. I am terrified of those horrid permanent colors, godwaful blacks and silver! Eww! They make holi a torture than a joyous festival of color.

  6. a happy holi to you too. and the children.

    the worst that happened to me in bombay was getting hit on the back with an egg while on a bike with a friend. my friends insisted that the egg was not part of holi revelry/rowdyism but because of the wrath of a disgruntled member of the audience for a play i had acted in on the previous day.
    the bloody egg was rotten. i was pretty darn furious.AND i was denied my bad holi story.

  7. Hasn’t Lent started? In which case may I mix the Happy Holi message to your mixed family with wishes for peace, love and blessings at what is also a time for reflection.

  8. Brilliant idea, MM! No fear of artificial colours containing harmful chemicals. And best of all, these natural colours could actually be beneficial (turmeric for instance)! Yabsolootly mooting for it :-)!

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