Holi coloursPhalgun arrives with the promise of warm days and new life and it is the season of rejuvenation and rebirth. The earth discards its winter gloom and begins to blossom again. As if to mark this change, Holi flings color into Indian landscape and invites the celebration of life.

The spirit of Holi is colour - rich and vibrant, flung into the air and smeared with laughter on friends and loved ones. It recalls, very simply, the secret of life: a shifting panorama of sights, movement and feelings. Colors denote energy - the vivid, passionate pulse of life. Color signifies the vitality that makes the human race unique in the universal scheme. Holi is also the enactment of spring. It is, in a metaphorical sense, changing earth’s dull garb of winter for the fresh blue of the March skies. The bright colors of new blossoms, the brilliance of the summer sun washing everything with its red-gold hues. Holi comes alive with the colors of Gulal .

Beautiful delightMarkets are flooded with heaps of gulal - they are arranged in pyramids and sold loose. Vendors sit on street corners selling gulal to passers-by. This powder colour is made up of many rich colors like pink, magenta, red, yellow and green. Abeer is made of small crystals or paper like chips of mica. This is usually mixed with the gulal to give it a rich shine. These colors can be used dry, or mixed with water. New brides make silver or gold color from powders especially available in the market. This color is mixed with a little coconut oil and stored in a bottle. It is applied in tiny quantities on the foreheads of near and dear ones like a tilak or a blaze-like mark.

In the olden days, people used to prepare Holi colors at home by using flowers blossomed on tesu tree. For making these colors, the flowers were dried and then grounded to a fine power. The powder was then mixed with the water to produce a beautiful saffron-red color.

While playing Holi, people use various kinds of harmful (chemical) colors which tend to damage their skin. It is adviced that people should use herbal colors which are easy to make and not harmful for the human skin.

Here, we have listed several techniques of making herbal colors so that one can enjoy Holi without disrupting its significance.

Making of Red Color

Dry:

  • Red Sandalwood Powder is used to prepare red color.
  • Dry red hibiscus flowers in the shade and powder it till it turns red in color. To increase the quantities add any flour to it.
  • There is also a fruit named Annato, which gives brick colored red seeds that can be grinded for red color.

Wet:

  • Pour two teaspoons of red sandalwood powder in five liters of water and boil. Then, dilute it with 20 liters of water.
  • Peels of red pomegranate when boiled in water give dark red color.
  • Boil a small twig of Madder Tree in water for a deep red color.
  • Red color can also be obtained from juice of tomatoes and carrots. This can be diluted with sufficient quantity of water to remove the stickiness.

Making of Green Color

Dry:

  • Use henna powder to attain green color. Or simply use dry henna which will not leave any color on your face like the chemical colors.
  • Dry some of the leaves of Gulmohar tree for a vibrant color.

Wet:

  • Mix two teaspoons of heena in one litre of water. Stir it well so that you can use it.
  • Green color can also be obtained by mixing a fine paste of leaves like spinach, coriander, mint, etc. in water.

Making of Yellow Color

Dry:

  • Mix two teaspoons of Turmeric powder with almost double quantity of Besan. As, both Turmeric and Besan are extremely healthy for our skin and are also used widely as ‘ubtan’ (facepack). Ordinary turmeric is a fragrant and has enhanced therapeutic effects. Besan on other hand, can be substituted by flour or even talcum powder.
  • Flowers like Marigold and Yellow Chrysanthemums can be dried in shade and crush them to obtain a fine powder Capitulate different shades of yellow.
  • Dry the outer shell of the Bael fruit and grind it to obtain a yellow colored powder.

Wet:

  • Add one teaspoon of turmeric to two liters of water and mix it well. This can be boiled to increase the attentiveness of color and can be diluted further.
  • Soak 50 marigold flowers in 2 liters of water overnight. Boil it in the morning and use it.

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