INDIA: The popular festival of colours, Holi is a fun festival where people smear each other with dry colors known as Gulal, and also with other wet paints. The tradition of playing with colours started with Lord Krishna, who used to play pranks on Radha, and other village girls by drenching them in water and colors.
The time to celebrate Holi this year is approaching fast. Also, the cases of COVID-19 are rising again. The situation is once again not normal. But, Indians, known to adapt to adverse situations, are getting ready to accept the ‘new normal’ for safety with full enthusiasm, joy, and creativity. In times like this, they are planning to stay safe, sanitise the place that they are going to play Holi with their family, friends, and near and dear ones with naturally made colours.
Natural sources of colours
Holi is played when the seasons are changing, winter is departing and spring season is arriving. And it is common to catch a normal cold and viral fever. To avoid this, we should play Holi with natural colours which are made of neem, kumkum, haldi, bilva, and other herbs, as the medicinal values of these materials help in fighting these ailments.
During the current era of new normal, we should only use dry colours prepared naturally from the flowers extracts of flowers like Dhak and Palash, and leaves, and other natural products that have dyeing properties, to celebrate Holi safely and avoid strong, chemically enhanced, and artificial colors. Turmeric and sandalwood paste can also be applied.
Nature is a spectrum of colors, and it portrays various shades of colors through flowers, snow-peaked mountains, green trees, sea, rivers, muddy lands, and various other mediums. Lots of natural materials are available and it is very simple to prepare dry colours from them. A few options are:
Orange and red
With the onset of spring, the trees of palash or tesu, or the flame of the forest, are all red with blooms. These flowers in red and orange hues are typical sources of bright red and deep orange. Fragrant red sandalwood, dried hibiscus flowers, radish, and pomegranate are also mixed to make colours. The chemical reaction when you mix lime with turmeric powder also is an alternate source of orange powder. Kesar (saffron) is also dissolved in boiling water to give orange.
Gulmohar tree is a great source of green and so is Mehendi. Even the leaves of spring crops and herbs are used as a source of green pigment.
Haldi (turmeric) powder is the best source of yellow colour, and so is a marigold flower. To reduce the pungency, flour is mixed with turmeric powder, and this allows you to get the right shade too. Bel fruit, amaltas, and species of chrysanthemums are alternate sources of yellow.
Indigo plants, Indian berries, species of grapes, blue hibiscus, and jacaranda flowers are traditional sources of blue colour for Holi.
Magenta and purple
Who can beat the deep magenta of Beetroots? They are directly boiled in water to prepare coloured water.
Dried tea leaves offer a source of brown coloured water. Certain clays are alternate sources of brown.
Species of grapes, fruits of amla (gooseberry), and vegetable carbon (charcoal) offer gray to black colours.
Effect of colours on our feeling
Colors have long-lasting impressions on our minds. The colour which we like the most often portrays our character. They are the medium to communicate our feelings and emotions. Various characteristics and implications of colours are:
- Red signifies anger, danger, passion, happiness, blood, and fire and it supposedly induces the feeling of strength and power.
- Blue signifies sadness, soberness, and happiness, and is the color for peace and heavenly living.
- Green is the color of jealousy and envy. It is poisonous on one hand, but green is the color of Nature too and sustains life.
- Yellow signifies brilliance and brings warmth, but for a few, it reflects cowardice and makes one weak & sick.
- Orange portrays ambition and motivates one’s creativity.
- Violet is royal and is a mystery colour.
- Grey suggests retirement and quietness.
Read Also: Legends Of Holi, The Festival of Colours