How to Make Organic & Eco Friendly Holi Colours at Home?


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Holi, the festival of colours, celebrates the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil.  Holi is a time for celebration and enjoyment. On this day people celebrate by smearing each other with Gulaaal (colour powder) and splashing even coloured water on each other. On Holi, the whole country acquires the vibrant hues of reds, greens, magentas, and blues. But these days, people use synthetic colours which are made up of chemicals. They can cause some serious health issues. However, do you about making eco-friendly and organic Holi colours at home? If not, then this article will help you for sure.

The legend behind colourful Holi

Do you know how colours become a part of the Holi celebration?  According to an ancient legend, Lord Krishna was upset that he was dark and Radha was fair skinned. When he complained about this to his mother Yashoda, she suggested that he should cover Radha with colours so that they both may look the same. Colours have been a part of Holi celebrations since then.

Harmful effects of synthetic Holi colours

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Bright and vibrant coloured powders (Gulaal) are an essential element of Holi. People also smear Liquid colours (Rang) on the faces and clothes of each other. The markets have special stalls lined up with all kind of colours on this day. Unfortunately, most of these colours are made synthetically, and they contain harsh chemicals. Most of these shades are made of oxidised metals and industrial dyes.

The green gulaal is made from copper sulphate, purple colour contains chromium iodide, the silver shade is usually aluminium bromide, and black colour comprises of lead oxide. If you find shiny bits in the Gulaal you have bought, it means that it contains powdered glass.

Not only are these colours tough to take off, but they can also lead to allergies and other skin conditions. Renal failure, skin cancer, bronchial asthma and temporary blindness are some of the ailments linked to the use of these chemicals.

Opt for organic Holi colour

However, this should not discourage us from celebrating this fun-filled festival.  We should opt for organic and natural colours to play Holi. Not only are these colours safe for our health, but they also help to protect our planet. Follow these simple recipes to make your own organic Holi at home. Be it red, blue, green or orange, we can still get all these beautiful colours from nature.

Recipes for organic Holi colours

Green Sheen

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Green is the colour of growth and balance. You can use henna powder soaked overnight for wet colour. Vegetables like spinach and coriander can also be ground and used for wet colour. For dry colour use henna powder mixed with wheat flour. This will give it a light green hue. Dried and crushed leaves of Gulmohur tree can also be used for green colour.

Ravishing Red

Red is the colour of purity. Red sandalwood powder or vermilion can be used for this shade. Unlike synthetic colours, red sandalwood is beneficial for the skin and is used in face packs. Dried rose petals, dried red hibiscus flowers mixed with flour are perfect for dry colour. Grated beetroot can also be used as a wet colour.

Vibrant Yellow

Yellow colour signifies intellect. Mix one portion of turmeric powder with two parts of besan (gram flour) powder to form the dry yellow colour. This mixture is perfect for the skin. You can also substitute besan with wheat flour, rice flour, arra rot (groundnut) powder or fuller’s earth (Multani mitti). For wet colours mix turmeric with water or boil amaltas or marigold flowers in water and grind them.

Orange or saffron

The colour orange is the colour of creativity and optimism. Dry Tesu flowers, grind them and mix them with flour. To make saffron coloured water just add a few strands of saffron to water and keep it overnight.

Bright Blue

Blue is the colour of bravery and determination. Neeli Gulmohur or Blue Hibiscus flowers can be dried and ground for blue powder. For wet colour crush berries of the blue Indigo tree to form a paste.

Marvellous Magenta

Magenta signifies universal harmony. Slice or grate a few beetroots and soak them in water overnight.  You can add more water if you want a lighter shade.

Earthy Brown

This is the colour of protection and material wealth. Mix one part of henna powder with four parts of amla powder for the perfect shade of brown.

Pretty pink

Pink colour signifies compassion and love. Grate beetroot and boil it in water. Add cornstarch to this water and let it dry.  Powder this cornstarch with the help of a rolling pin for that wonder pink gulaal.

Jet black

The black colour is associated with power and mystery. Amla (Indian gooseberry), when kept in an iron vessel produce a black colour. This can be diluted and used during Holi.

So, what are you waiting for? Get set to make a splash with all these beautiful organic Holi colours at home. Not only will this ensure a safe celebration for your family and friends, but you will also feel happy having done your bit for the environment.

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