Celebrate The Festival Of Colors With Safety And Satisfaction: Celebrate An Eco-Friendly Holi!
A festival in India has always a traditional backing and in every moment of unadulterated fun there is a strong message of love or victory of good over evil. Holi is a festival that tightens the secular fabric of our nation and completely breaks the barriers of color, caste, creed, age, status or Gender. You can also call it a festival with a splash of colors that does the job of ice-breaking too as all barriers of discrimination are broken to smithereens when ‘gulal’ the colored powder or colored water is splashed on each other!
Holi The Harvest Festival Bringing In Joy And Hope!
Ideally, Holi or ‘Phagwah’ in the olden days was celebrated as a harvest festival and literally the word Holi is derived from the word ‘ Hola’ which also means saluting the Creator for all the bounties blessed and for giving a golden harvest. This festival is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of ‘Phalgun’ and in the Gregorian calendar it falls on the beginning of March. It clearly demarcated the gloomy and cold winter days and this festival brought with it the summer sun, the colors of joy and the warmth of well being as the fields were laden with crops and the flowers danced with joyous abandon flirting with the summer sky!
Myths And Folklore Behind This Colorful Festival Holi!
There are many myths encircling this festival of colors and folklore explains every act of celebrations aptly. The Holika- Hiranyakashipu-Prahlad legendry story is strongly entwined with the festival and it says how God punished Holika when she carried Prahlad to kill him through the fire but was herself burned to ashes. It gives the message of good winning over evil.
Secondly, the folklore of Krishna and Radha says that Lord Krishna complained to his mother Yeshoda on him being black and Radha being fair. His mother is said to have advised to apply color on his beloved’s face and make her like him. This message gives a strong foothold to wipe out the discrimination based on color! And just like Lord Krishan played with the gopis, the present day Romeos play with their sweethearts spraying color on their faces and there is a lot of bonhomie and the air is thick with love and mirth!
There is also a myth about Lord Shiva opening his third eye and having incinerated Kamadeva who is the God of love. This makes the people worship the God of love and make offerings of a mixture made of mango blossoms and sandalwood paste…and this is Holi celebrations of the Vedic age with natural and medicinal things...setting the way for us to follow! It’s high time we de-pollute this colorful festival and rechristen it to a festival that splashes only the colors of joy, love and exuberance!
Happiness , Exuberance And Total Ecstasy On The Day Of Holi!
Celebrations start on the eve of Holi, what they call as Chhoti or Small Holi. The bonding of the whole village or the community can be seen as people light huge bonfires and they call it as Holika Dahan. People also appease the God of fire by putting gram and stalks from the harvest to show their gratitude in villages.
The morning of the Holi, every child and elderly person has an expression of total ecstasy and exuberance pasted on their faces. The air is filled with shouts of glee and happiness as color is applied on each other’s faces and colored water is also sprayed using pichkaris and water balloons. On its zenith, you can also witness the loud Bollywood Holi songs and dance and the rhythm of dholaks amidst the shouts of greetings. There are also mouth-watering delicacies prepared like gujjia, papri, kanji ke vada and many traditional dishes. Devouring these sweets definitely boosts up the festive mood without a doubt!
The exotic and intoxicating Bhaang is also consumed and it adds excitement to the festive celebrations as you are able to witness people losing all their inhibitions and joining in full force to the merriment! Evenings witness musical nights and visiting friends and families by wearing new clothes.
Food For Thought : Are We Turning A Blind- Eye To The Harmful Side Of The Symbolic Celebrations!
Celebrations are great but sometimes it so happens that we just stay focused on the symbolism of the festival and turn a blind eye to the wastage and destruction of materials and harm to the environment. It is a sad fact that this festival is becoming more ostentatious and loud and in the process we harm both our health and the surrounding environment to very great proportions. The questions that are raised now are why don't we evolve with time and tone down at least those symbolic celebrations which will help us abstain from monumental losses in terms of human health and nature’s wealth.
A festival that was a symbol of beauty and love has become ruthlessly modernized and what was intended to welcome Spring has now become a source of environmental degradation. A striking example and one outstanding peril of Holi is the atrocious wastage of the most precious commodity for mankind, water. In the enthusiasm to douse each other in colored water, buckets of water are wasted and even children add to it by throwing water balloons.
It’s a frightening tale to read about the extent of harm that the usage of artificial colors does to the environment as well as to one’s skin. The chemical dyes that look very attractive in all hues and shades are virtually skin cancer creating demons and it causes pollution to the environment during its production and also in the final stages when it is washed away and merges with the water cycle. There are many incidents reported of skin rashes, irritations and even blindness. So we need to pause a second and evaluate if we need to continue this irrational celebrations or change over to a new kind of eco-friendly Holi celebrations which is safe and secure.
Thanks to heavens above, a small ray of change has crept into the celebrations and eco-friendly Holi celebrations are propagated by eminent personalities and NGOs. Yes! You can say it’s celebrations with natural things that can be obtained from our own kitchen. Can any color match the magenta of beetroot or the sparkling colors of marigold and gulmohars? The gram flour , the bright red of henna, the sweet smelling sandalwood powder, fullers earth in which beauty packs are made are all gentle on your skin and smells heavenly too! You will soon realize how foolish you were to have gone behind the chemical dyes and suffered their atrocious affects.