Celebrate an Eco Friendly Holi

Ahmedabad people love this colorful festival. This festival is celebrated with joy and happiness. So, it is really important to play this festival in an eco friendly way.

Ideally, the joyous festival of Holi is meant to celebrate the arrival of Spring while the colors used in Holi are to reflect of the various hues of spring season. But unfortunately, in modern times Holi does not stand for all things beautiful. Like various other festivals, Holi too has become ruthlessly commercialized, boisterous and yet another source of environmental degradation. To de-pollute Holi and make it in sync with nature, as it is supposed to be, several social and environmental groups are proposing a return to more natural ways of celebrating Holi.


Harmful Effects of Chemical Colors
In earlier times, Holi colors were prepared from the flowers of trees that blossomed during spring, such as the Indian Coral Tree (parijat) and the Flame of the Forest (Kesu), both of which have bright red flowers. These and several other blossoms provided the raw material from which the brilliant shades of Holi colours were made. Most of these trees also had medicinal properties and Holi colors prepared from them were actually beneficial to the skin.

Over the years, with the disappearance of trees in urban areas and greater stress for higher profits these natural colours came to be replaced by industrial dyes manufactured through chemical processes. 

Around 2001, a study on all the three available categories of colours available in the market - pastes, dry colours and water colours. The study revealed that all of these three forms of chemical Holi colors are hazardous. 

Harmful Chemicals in Holi Paste type colors
According to their researched fact sheet on Holi, the pastes contain very toxic chemicals that can have severe health effects.

    Color        Chemical                      Health Effects
1. Black      Lead oxide                   Renal Failure
2. Green      Copper Sulphate             Eye Allergy, Puffiness and temporary blindness
3. Silver      Aluminium Bromide     Carcinogenic
4. Blue      Prussian Blue             Contract Dermatitis
5. Red      Mercury Sulphite              Highly toxic can cause skin cancer


Harmful Chemicals in Gulal
The dry colors, commonly known as gulals, have two components – a colourant that is toxic and a base which could be either asbestos or silica, both of which cause health problems. Heavy metals contained in the colourants can cause asthma, skin diseases and adversely affect the eyes.

Harms of Wet Holi Colors
Wet colors, mostly use Gentian violet as a color concentrate which can cause skin dis-coloration and dermatitis.

Action Taken by Environmental Groups
Several environmental groups took up the cause to encourage people to return to a more natural way of celebrating Holi.
Among these,
Navdanya, Delhi published a book called Abir Gulal, which spoke of the biodiversity that was the source of natural colors.
Development Alternatives, Delhi and Kalpavriksh, Pune have developed educational tools to teach children simple ways of making their own natural Holi colors.
The CLEAN India campaign has been teaching children how to make beautiful natural colors.

Make your own Holi colors
Holi festival lovers will be thrilled to know that it is possible to make simple natural colors in one’s own kitchen. 

Orange and red
The flowers of palash or tesu tree, also called the flame of the forest, are typical source of bright red and deep orange colors. Powdered fragrant red sandal wood, dried hibiscus flowers, madder tree, radish and pomegranate are alternate sources and shades of red. Mixing lime with turmeric powder creates an alternate source of orange powder, as does boiling saffron (kesar) in water.

Green
Mehendi (Heena) and dried leaves of gulmohur tree offer a source of green color. In some areas, the leaves of spring crops and herbs have been used as source of green pigment.

Yellow
Haldi (turmeric) powder is the typical source of yellow color. Sometimes this is mixed with chickpeas, gram or other flour to get the right shade. Bael fruit, amaltas, species of chrysanthemums, and species of marigold are alternate sources of yellow.

Blue
Indigo, Indian berries, species of grapes, blue hibiscus and jacaranda flowers are traditional sources of blue color for Holi.

Magenta and purple
Beetroot is the traditional source of magenta and purple color. Often these are directly boiled in water to prepare colored water.

Brown
Dried tea leaves offer a source of brown colored water. Certain clay's are alternate source of brown.

Black
Species of grapes, fruits of amla (gooseberry) and vegetable carbon (charcoal) offer gray to black colors.


The Holi Bonfire
The burning of fuel wood to create the bonfire for Holika Dahan presents another serious environmental problem. According to a news article, studies done in the state of Gujarat reveal that each bonfire uses around 100 kg of wood, and considering that approximately 30,000 bonfires are lit in the state of Gujarat just for one season, this leads to a wastage of a staggering amount of wood.
Groups such as Sadvichar Parivar are now advocating one symbolic community fire, rather than several smaller bonfires across the city as a way to reduce wood consumption. Others are also suggesting that these fires be lit using waste material rather than wood.

A Dry Holi?
In the current situation, when most cities in India are facing acute water scarcity, the wasteful use of water during Holi, is also being questioned. It is common for people to douse each other with buckets of water during Holi, and children often resort to throwing water balloons at each other. The idea of a dry Holi seems alien at first, especially as the climate becomes warmer around Holi, and the water provides welcome relief from the heat. However, considering that in some urban areas, citizens can go without water for several days, it seems wasteful to use so much water simply for a celebration.

Environmental Consciousness Among People
It is a relief to notice that the awareness about the environmental impacts of celebrating Holi are being brought to light by various NGOs. And gradually, more and more Indians are choosing to turn to a more natural and less wasteful way of playing Holi.

Suggestions and Tips to make your HOLI Safe and Joyous..........

1. Play safe. Don't get to boisterous and do not let others to be rude on you.

2. The best option would be to play with natural home made colors. Your skin and hair will feel tampered with the use of skin friendly natural products.

3. If natural colors are not possible, then ensure a better quality of colors. Buy colors from a reputed shop or vendor.

4. Use more of red or pink colors which looks good and can easily taken off. Gaudy purple, green, yellow, orange have more harmful chemicals in them and should be avoided.

5. Make sure that your face is well creamed before and after the play.

6. Apply thick coating of paint on your nails- both in fingers and toes so that they remain protected.

7. Oil your hair well, so that color doesn't stick on your hair and can be washed off easily later.

8. Cover your hair. Make use of hat or caps to protect your hair from being colored with hard-to-rinse dyes.

9. Make sure that powder or any other product does not get inside your eyes. Eyes are extremely vulnerable on holi because of their strategic place in body and also because of the use of harmful chemicals in colors these days. Please ensure that your eyes remain protected at all times. Use a sunglasses to protect your eyes from a misfire of color filled darts or water jets.

10. Use dental caps to save your teeth from any unwanted stains.

11. Put on your worst clothes so that you won't have to take on the hassles of an immediate washing.

12. Rags like tattered denims and bright shades like black, blue, green, purple are highly recommended.

13. Try to save yourself off from all possible attacks on the face. In case your such attempts fail, keep your eyes and lips tightly shut if you are attacked on your face.

14. If possible avoid going outside your home, at least for the peak hours of celebration. The premises of your home ensure that you are safe from pouncing hooligans, even friends who can be a little rough on the day.

15. When traveling keep the car windows thoroughly shut, even if you don't have an AC car. Do not bump into the frenzied group of mob if you take to streets. Better you cross the road to the sidewalk across. Or, simply stay at a safe distance.

16. Do not use permanent dyes. If someone has applied it on you, do not rub the face with soap immediately in order to get rid off it, especially when it is wet. Instead, use good quality cleansing milk for removal. It's better than using soap, which will dry up your skin.

17. Rotten eggs when thrown on your head, flying missiles from locality buildings…are still not too bad, will be smelly yet is a good conditioner for your hair. But tar, shit, Mobil, stones and all the rubbish that you can be hit with is not. Avoid being a prey to hooligans.

18. Remember you also have police on your side and if any untoward revelers misbehave, you can make your complaint. Mark out the locality, building and if possible the person.

19. Take a bath much later after the entire holi celebration is over. Taking frequent baths, washing the face again and again, will ruin your skin. You will also lose hair, for too much soap/shampoo has a drying effect.

20. If you are prone to skin allergies, avoid playing with gulal altogether. Going to a dermatologist (skin specialist) serves no purpose, after the damage is done.

21. Avoid running on jumping on wet floors, so that you don't slip and injure yourself. Bones are specially vulnerable on this day.

22. Avoid over indulgence in bhang, drinks or food... so that you don't repent later.

23. Do not drive if you are high on alcohol or bhang.

24. Keep handy pain killers, anti-oxidants, anti-allergic tablets if all the above tips have been disregarded.


Holi Messages, Quotes and Sayings 


Hindi Holi messages

Saade rang ko galti se aap naa kora samjho,
Isi mey samaaye indradhanushi saaton rang,
Jo dikhe aapko zindagi saadagi bhari kisi ki,
To aap yun samjho satrangi hai duniya usiki, 
Holi aayi satrangi rango ki bouchar laayi,
Dher saari mithai aur mitha mitha pyar laayi,
Aap ki zindagi ho mithe pyar aur khusiyon se bhari,
Jisme samaaye saaton rang yahi shubhkamna hai hamaari.

Lal, gulabi, neela, pila hathon me liya samet,
Holi ke din rangenge sajni, kar ke meethi bhent.

Pichkari ki Dhar,
Gulal ki bauchar,
Apno ka pyar,
Yahi hai yaaron holi ka tyohar.
Happy Holi!!!!

Rangon se bhi rangeen zindagi hai humari, rangeeli rahe yeh bandagi hai humari,
kabhi na bigde ye pyar ki rangoli, aye mere yaar aisi HAPPY HOLI.

Gul ne gulshan se gulfam bheja hai, 
Sitaro ne aasman se salaam bheja hai,
Mubaraq ho aapko holi ka tyohar,
Humne dil se yeh paigam bheja hai.

Rango ke tyohar mein sabhi rango ki ho bharmar,
Dher saari khushiyon se bhara ho aapka sansar,
Yahi dua hai bhagwan se hamari har bar,
Holi Mubarak ho mere yaar! 

Khaa key gujiya, pee key bhaang, laaga ke thoda thoda sa rang, baja ke dholak aur mridang, khele holi hum tere sang.
Holi Mubarak!
Rango mein ghuli ladki kya laal gulabi hai
Jo dekhta hai kehta hai kya maal gulabi hai
Pichle baras tune jo bhigoya tha holi mein
Ab tak nishani ka woh rumaal gulabi hai.

Chadenge jab pyare rang, ek meri dosti ka rang bhi chadhana.
Lagne lagenge tumhe suhane sare rang, 
Aur meri dosti ka rang chamkega hurdum tumhare sang. 
Bolo sarararara....
Wish you a very mastiful and colourful Happy Holi!

Apun wishing you a wonderful,
Super-duper,
Zabardast,
Xtra-badhiya,
Xtra special,
Ekdum mast and dhinchak,
Bole to ekdum jhakaas
“Happy Holi”.

Funny Holi messages

Me ja ja jovu hu,
Mane tharo chahero dikhto hai,
Ii thaaro kusur nathi,
Salo sab chahero aaj rangeelo hai,
Holi Mubarak!

Aapne dil ka haal batana chod diya, humne bhi gehrai mein jaana chod diya. Holi se pehle hi aapne nahana chod diya? 

Rang barse bhige chunar wali, rang barse o rang barse bhige chunar wali..rang barse, are rang barse bhige chunar wali..re! Ab ghar jao nahi to jukham lag jayega. 

English Holi messages

Dipped in hues of love and trust has come the festival of Holi. 
Happy Holi!!

Bright colors, water balloons, lavish gujiyas and melodious songs are the ingredients of perfect Holi. Wish you a very happy and wonderful Holi. 

May God gift you all the colors of life, colors of joy, colors of happiness, colors of friendship, colors of love and all other colors you want to paint in your life. Happy Holi. 

If wishes come in rainbow colors then I would send the brightest one to say Happy Holi. 

A true and caring relation doesn't have to speak loud, a soft sms is just enough to express the heartiest feelings. Enjoy the festival of Holi with lot of fun. 

Best wishes to you for a Holi filled with sweet moments and memories to cherish for long.
Happy Holi!

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