Colours used in Holi are meant to reflect the various hues of the spring season. Holi, as you already know, is a celebration of the arrival of spring.
The colours used during Holi once upon a time were prepared from the flowers of trees that blossomed during spring. Most of these trees also had medicinal properties and the colours obtained from them were highly beneficial to the skin.
With the rapid commercialization of this festival, and a strong demand for other colours, manufacturers started producing artificial colours, which are not only more sought after, but also inexpensive as compared to natural colours.
What people tend to ignore is that these artificial colours consist of a large number of chemicals, which can have severe ill-effects on your health.
To give you an insight into what chemical is present in each of these colours, and what effects it can have on your health, refer to the chart below :
COLOUR – CHEMICAL – HEALTH EFFECTS
Black – Lead oxide Renal – Failure
Green – Copper Sulphate – Eye Allergy, Puffiness and temporary blindness
Silver – Aluminium Bromid – Carcinogenic
Blue – Prussian Blue – Contact Dermatitis
Red – Mercury Sulphite – Highly toxic can cause skin cancer
Now that your aware of the chemicals present in colours and the several health-impacts it can have, would you still want to play with them? Or would you now rather opt for some natural colours?
While natural colours are easily available in the market, you can as an activity, make these colours yourself. Here’s what you need to do.
Mix two teaspoons of mehendi in one litre of water and stir well. Alternatively, you could also mix some henna powder with an equal quantity of any flour.
Take a few Jacaranda flowers, have them dried and then grind them to get a beautiful blue coloured powders. Store this in an airtight bottle. Flowers from the hibiscus plant can also be dried and powdered to get a blue colours.
Take some dry red rose petals and spread them out on a newspaper and leave them out in the sun to dry. Once the petals have dried up, grind them and use the red powder obtained to smear the faces of your friends. Boiling two teaspoons of red sandalwood powder in five litres of water and then later diluting it in about twenty litres of water will give you a great red water solution. Water can also be boiled with pomegranate peels which also give a good red colour.
Grind dried or fresh mehendi leaves to get a green-coloured powder. This can be used to make into a paste by mixing some water which will give it an orange tinge.You can also add a little turmeric and sandalwood powder to rose water and make a saffron colour solution.
Mix two teaspoons of turmeric powder with four teaspoons of gram flour. This will give you a vibrant yellow powder. Dry the petals of flowers like Amaltas, marigold or yellow chrysanthemums and grind them to yield different shades of yellow color powder. They can be used separately or can be mixed with gram flour to add bulk to the powder. Boil one teaspoon of turmeric in two liters of water to yield deep yellow color. Dilute to the desired color strength.
As already mentioned, all the ingredients used to make natural colours are medicinal in nature, and have no harmful effects to your skin or health. If you had this notion that making natural colours would be difficult, shed those inhibitions and prepare some colours yourself today with these easily available ingredients, many of which you will find at home.
We at mocomi, wish all of you a very safe and happy Holi!
Want to read more about Holi?!
The Story of Holi
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