Holi is the festival of colors also known as Rang Panchami and is celebrated in two parts.
Like we discussed in the Diwali article, https://amitamishra.com/diwali-our-way-of-looking-at-it/ there is an internal transformation that happens with each festival as each festival marks the beginning of a new season.
Let us see what this festival brings us:
Instead of us talking about the same thing of what, how and why Holika Dahan is celebrated, let us understand the health aspect of it here.
Holi being festival celebrated in springtime, it is bang on between the transition period from winters to summers.
This causes an enormous increase in the levels of bacteria in the atmosphere and in our bodies and here is where the interesting thing about the Holika fire comes in.
As we take rounds of the fire [50-60 degrees] our body temperature rises to such an extent that it destroys these hazardous bacterias and hence cleansing us of the potential diseases that would come with this season change.
In certain parts of the country people also mix the ash with the new growing leaves of the Mango tree and apply it with a mix of chandan [sandalwood] to help promote good health.
Fresh harvest like wheat, barley, moong , and chickpeas are thrown into the fire and the roasted foods are served as prasad and is believed as a sign of good health and harvest.
The seasonal change also brings upon fatigue, tiredness, lethargy and much more and that is why we call Holi as a mood-lifting festival.
From the gulal, gujjiyas and jalebis to the thandai, dholaks and thumkas of the bollywood songs we are automatically rejuvenated with the physical movement and singing.
Next morning is the actual play of colors and from our ancestors to now there has been a lot of changes on what color we use, how we rest, take care of our skin, hair and much more.
Rang Panchami / dhulika / dhuleti [The colourful festival]
Colour plays a vital role in our health. So when we talk about holi, let’s talk about the way it was really played”.
And it definitely was not by using synthetic colors which are cheap and contain harmful toxins like lead oxide, chromium.
Diesel, iodine, chlorine, etc. Isn’t our environment already polluted enough that we now even pay to expose ourselves to this?
So try opting for herbal colors or make your own using turmeric, henna, Palash, neem, etc. You can also use peels of beetroot, tomatoes, etc, grind them and throw that on each other, as it also has a healing effect on the body and adds to the joyfulness.
Still, if you are using artificial or synthetic colors, follow these tips:
- Apply a thick layer of oil on your skin and hair to prevent the colours from coming into direct contact with your skin or hair [As one traditionally a day prior]
- Chose clothing which covers maximum areas of your body
- Do not go for playing on an empty stomach
- Water: Drink plenty of water before you start playing Holi. This will keep your skin hydrated. Also keep sipping water carefully while playing Holi.
- Alcohol/ bhang – Stay away. If consumed, then eat something before that. Include a glass of water after every peg or serving. And not more than 2 servings.
Post holi tips –
- Use besan and dahi or uttana to scrub of the colours after playing [don’t be harsh on yourself]
- Apply oil/ moisturizer after bathing as well.
MOST IMPORTANT TIP
The festival is to enjoy, rest, rejuvenate and appreciate. So don’t damage yourself further with chemicals, guilt, overeating, or drinking.
Step out of your comfort zone, shake your body, spend time with loved ones, let go of the guilt, anger and hard feelings towards others, and smile a little more!
Diet Tips and planning [a day to enjoy your local and traditional delicacies in their original format]
On rising – 1 tsp sonth with one glass water / 1 fresh cube of ginger boiled in water and strained
Pre breakfast – 1 banana / Groundnit amd jaggery [one small cube]
Breakfast -Have your festive delicacies mainly for Breakfast or lunch
1 puran poli / paratha/ aloo kachori / dal kachori / gujiya / any home made fried delicacy + chutney
Midmorning – 1 glass kokum juice / thandai / Kanji / Buttermik / Nimbu Pani [hydration] 4
Same as breakfast
Aloo palak/ paneer Tikka masala / pumpkin sabji/ dum aloo / chhole/ chana masala + 2 rajgira puri / bhature/ kulcha + dal / buttermilk + 1 carrot [whole without peeeling
1 bowl dal makhani / raita + 1 bowl biryani / rice / pulav + 1 bolw salad
1 Dal puri / kachori / Puran poli [Make using traditional recipes and in ghee]
Post lunch – 1 katori kheer / sevai / payasam [use jaggery to make ]
Evening – 1 cup chai / coffee + 1 khakra/ peanuts / makhana
Late evening [have your dinner early ]
1 bowl khichdi [Add veggies]+ ghee / 1 katori rice + thin moong dal
1 rawa dosa / rawa upma / 2 Idli / dosa with sambar [add drumstick]
BEDTIME 1 Tsp saunf + 1 glass water. Followed by a elaichi
We hope you have a colorful Holi and pledge to make the Earth cleaner and yourself!