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How to celebrate holi in eco friendly way

Updated on April 23, 2013

Holi is the festival of colors in India.It is celebrated in the season of love,' spring' ,so it is called as 'Basanth utsav'.Holi is celebrated at the end of winter on the full moon day(poornima) of lunar month (phalguna), usually appear in the months of february or march.

The most prominent story about Holi seems the legend of Prahlad and Hiranyakshyap. Hiranyakshyap was a terrible and powerful king, declared himself as God and expected his people to worship him. His son Prahlad chose to worship Lord Vishnu instead. Because of this betrayal Hiranyakshyap asked his sister Holika, who has a supernatural protection from fire, to walk into the flames carrying Prahlad. Prahlad’s devotion to the Lord Vishnu saved him from fire and Holika lost her protection and was burned.Hence the name 'Holika poornima'.

In Brindavan and Mathura where Lord Krishna grew up,this festival is celebrated for 15 days.Lord Krishna used to play Holi with his love Radha and with gopi’s in brindavan.



1.Avoid wastage of water.

2.Use cap or scarf so that damage to hair reduces.

3.Avoid using harmful chemical products and oil paints.

4.Use natural colors instead of synthetic colors.

5.Wash immediately after playing holi.

6.Wash hands properly especially nails.

Synthetic colors

Synthetic colors are available in 3 forms dry colors, paste form and wet colors.They cause many harmful effects on health.Here is the list of colors which cause ill-health :-

Lead oxide
Renal failure
Prussian blue
Contact dermatitis
Mercury sulphide
Dry colors
Asbestos or Silica(bases)
Asthma, Dermatitis
Aluminium bromide
Copper sulphate
Eye allergies, temporary blindness
Wet colors
Gentian violet
Skin discoloration,dermatitis
Liver problems

Natural colors

Using natural herbal colors is not only safe but also therapeutic. They even give nice fragrance. Here are some natural herbal colors :


YELLOW :Turmeric powder, Besan(gram flour),flowers like Amaltas, marigold,yellow chrysanthemums yield different shades of yellow.Dry the petals of these flowers in shade and crush them to powder.

GREEN : Use henna leaves or dry gulmohur leaves crushing into fine powder.

BLUE : The Jacaranda flowers dried in the shade and powdered to get a beautiful shade of blue color.

RED : Red sandalwood has a beautiful red color.

Dry flowers of red hibiscus in shade and crush to powder.Seeds of sinduria (Annato) fruit also grounded to use as red color.

MAGENTA :Slice and dry beet root and crush it into powder.

SAFFRON : Flowers of silk cotton (Bombax ceiba) dried and used in powdered form.

BLACK : Dry powder of amla or gooseberry for black color.

To increase quantity of each color, they mixed with proper amount of flour or fuller's earth (multani mitti).


  • To the 2 liters of water add 2 tsp of turmeric and mix it well to get the yellow color. You can adjust the quantity of turmeric to get the desired intensity of the color.
  • Soak 5-60 marigold flower in one and half liter of water overnight, boil it and mix in normal water to get natural yellow color.
  • Add 2 tsp of red sandalwood powder to 1 litre of water and dilute with 10 liters of water to get red color.
  • Boil Tea or Coffee leaves in water to get the brown color .
  • Soak flowers of Tesu or Plash (Flame of forest) overnight in the water and use the bright orange water as wet color.
  • Add grated beetroot to in 1 litre of water and soak it one hour for a vibrant magenta color. Boil or leave overnight for a deeper shade and use diluted with water.


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    • profile image

      Manoj 4 years ago

      Nice Article about Holi,. Check more at

    • Ranbeer Thakkar profile image

      Ranbeer Thakkar 4 years ago from Kanpur

      Great Article. You can also take a look on

    • Ranbeer Thakkar profile image

      Ranbeer Thakkar 4 years ago from Kanpur

      Hi swathi180,

      I agree with you on this. Good post. You can my latest post on

    • swathi180 profile image

      swathi180 6 years ago

      What ever the way may be the main of motto of a festival is to be happy:-)

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 6 years ago from Nepal

      Hindus in Nepal also celebrate Holi with much fanfare. I did not know about the chemicals in synthetic colors. But I did know how natural colors can be made. However, I don't want to bother with it, because I hate playing with colors, especially in Holi. But of course I enjoy Holi indoors with my friends eating, drinking and playing cards.

    • swathi180 profile image

      swathi180 6 years ago

      ya sure but on a special occasion Holi only :-)

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 6 years ago from Tucson, Az

      wow but then you paint yourself with these colours? I bet my adult in training daughter would love this!!! so would I, for that matter!