India celebrates Holi-the festival of colors tomorrow
So holi is here again. Many of you might have already purchased ‘gulal’, balloons and other related stuff. Holi marks the beginning of spring. For me holi is all about getting colored, coloring others and enjoying it. This time, holi gets even more special because we have decided to celebrate it in an ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘natural’ way.
Before coming to holi, let me describe a bizarre and unique way of celebrating holi. It is called Lath Mar holi. It is celebrated days before the actual holi. It is celebrated in Uttar Pradesh. The ritual is- men sing songs to gain the attention of women, who in-turn beat the men with sticks. The men use shield to protect themselves. The legend says that Lord Krishna once came to celebrate holi at Barsana, where Radha lived. He, playfully tried to gain Radha and friends’ attention and was chased out by the women. Since then, men from nearby villages travel to Barsana to participate in this activity.
Earlier, natural colors were used to celebrate holi. The color was made out of natural substances like sandal, turmeric and natural dyes. It was considered to contain medical benefits due to the presence of contents like neem, turmeric etc. These substances contain good medicinal properties.
Nowadays, the colors are made artificially. These colors are more harmful than useful. The harmful effects of various artificial colors is mentioned here. So this time, before you go out to celebrate holi, remember to play it safe. Better yet, opt for natural colors. There are stores dedicated to selling color dyes made the natural way. They are less harmful and you won’t have to compromise on the ‘fun-factor’.
Talking about, eco-friendly holi, I would like to bring to your attention the fact that every year, tons of wood is burned in the process of making a holika fire. It is obvious that it has a negative impact on our environment. Trees are cut on a large scale for this. Why not do something different this time? Avoid traditional wood and resort to other sources this time. Also, while celebrating holi, don’t waste water. Remember that many people are dying of thirst around the world. Use water judiciously.
So, enjoy holi-the festival of colors to its fullest. Try to be ‘eco-friendly’ and play it safe.