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Make your own homemade Holi colors

March 26, 2013

The festival of Holi is perhaps the only bright spot in an otherwise mundane month of March and therefore the bright and cheerful Holi brings colors of fun with it and welcomes the wonderful spring. However, unfortunately the meaning of Holi has not remained the same in last few decades owing to the ruthless commercialization and spread of hazardous Holi products. Modern Holi therefore does not stand for everything beautiful and has in fact become yet another source of environmental degradation. Here are some tips to de-pollute the auspicious Holi as an originally known festival of clean and homemade colors..

Several environmental groups have taken up the cause to encourage people to return to a more natural way of celebrating Holi. Amongst these are Navdanya, who have published a book called Abir Gulal that has spoken of the biodiversity that was the source of natural colours. Similarly, Development Alternatives, Delhi and Kalpavriksh, Pune have developed educational tools to teach children simple ways of making their own natural Holi colors. Also, the CLEAN India campaign has been teaching children how to make beautiful natural colors. Here’re a few of those recipes:

Yellow Mix turmeric (haldi) powder with chick pea flour

(besan) or Boil Marigold or Tesu flowers in water.

Yellow liquid color Soak peels of pomegranate (Anar) overnight.

Deep Pink Slice a beetroot and soak in water.

Orange Henna leaves (mehndi) can be dried, powdered

and mixed with water.

Green Dry and finely powder the leaves of Gulmohur

(Delonix regia) tree for a green color or rush the

tender leaves of the wheat

plant to obtain a natural safe green Holi colour.

Red Red Sandal Wood Powder / Raktachandan /

Lalchandan has a beautiful red color, is extremely

beneficial for the skin and is used in face packs,

etc. This can be used instead of Red Gulal or Dry

red hibiscus flowers in shade and powder to make

a lovely red color. To increase the bulk add any

flour to it.

Blue The Jacaranda flowers can be dried in the shade

and ground to obtain a beautiful blue powder. The

flowers bloom in summers or the blue Hibiscus

which is found in Kerala can be dried and

powdered just like the red hibiscus.

Wet colors Soak a few stalks of Saffron / Kesar in 2 table

spoons of water. Leave for few hours and grind to

make a fine paste. Dilute with water for desired

color strength. Though expensive, it is excellent

for the skin. Also, boil dried fruits of Amla / Indian

Gooseberry in an iron vessel and leave overnight.

Dilute with water and use.

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