What is Holi ?
Colourful, more colourful, Holi: The Holi festival symbolises the end of winter and marks one of the happiest celebrations in India. Entire streets explode in colour and people are painted red, yellow, or green. Celebrations of the Holi Gods are especially exuberant among Indian families in the northern part of the country. Festivities can go on for two to ten days, depending on the region.
The celebrations‘ motto is: All things colourful. People have various reasons to celebrate: to honour the Gods, to welcome the advent of spring, and to rejoice in the victory of good over evil. This is why the coloured powders are thrown around until the last bit of wintery grey has vanished. During Holi everyone is equal: The rigid Indian caste system is suspended throughout the celebrations. Borders and barriers are no longer important.
A bit different Holi Festival
Here in Germany we all gather obediently at some large public square, wait for the countdown, and then initiate the battle of colours. But how do things take place in India? Of course the focus lies on a colorful and passionate celebration there, too. Social differences, gender and age are finally cast aside for a day. That said, different regions in India celebrate Holi in many different ways. We’ve put together some of the more bizarre traditions for you:
- In the city of Rajkot complete strangers insult each other openly in the street. This custom dates back to a group of quarreling friends who decided to spend one day unleashing all their cooped up anger, thereby ending their feud.
- Meanwhile the Dalvana community pursues a more peaceful approach. Here, a wedding is re-enacted in which two groups -comprising the bride and the groom- carry out a singing competition. Unfortunately, the groom is always rejected by the bride at the end.
- In Visnagar, on the other hand, things are a little rougher. Shoes were once collected throughout the year, in order to be hurled at one another on the day of the celebration. Belief had it that those who were hit by a shoe would encounter great fortune. These days the shoes are exchanged for vegetables.
Be thankful we only throw colours at each other 🙂
Brightly colored hair ?!
You arrive back from the Holi festival, hop into the shower, and then the shock: Oh no, my hair is still pink! What now? No need to worry, it’s easily solved! The colour will disappear all by itself once you’ve washed your hair a couple of times. Things can be slightly more difficult if your hair is severely damaged due to bleaching, and tiny powder particles become attached to the damaged hair structure. In this case little household remedies can help, such as:
- Anti-dandruff shampoos
- Aspirin dissolved in water
- Olive oil with added citric acid
Still no success? In this case we recommend deep-cleansing shampoos, such as Paul Mitchell’s „Clarifying Shampoo“ and Brocato’s „Peppermint Scrub“.
To avoid potentially hair-raising issues after the next festival we recommend that anyone with bleached hair undergo a prior treatment with oil. The oil prevents the powder from attaching itself to the structure of your hair. Add to this a smart cap and the Holi festival can be enjoyed to the fullest!
Find all the answers to your questions about Holi colors!
1. What is Holi powder made of?
Holi powder is usually made of corn starch and food coloring. Some manufacturers use talc to make its structure finer, some even use rice starch as the base.
2. Are Holi colors dangerous or poisonous?
We use natural materials for our Holi powder so it is absolutely safe for your health and safe for the environment as it is biodegradeble. We have all necessary certificates to confirm the safety of our Holi colors. But as the Holi powder is very fine dust it can cause dry nose and in rare cases breathing problems. We generally recommend wearing glasses and a face mask but if you have lung problems you must wear respiratory protection or avoid Holi events in general.
3. What is a Holi festival and what happens on it?
The Indian spring festival or Holi festival originates from India and is a nationwide event to welcome spring and banish evil spirits. The main focus is equalty and reconcilation. All people regardless of their wealth and caste celebrate together and cover themselves in colors from head to toe. The Holi events in the rest of the world are different. They are huge parties with thousands of people and loud music. The guests come together to celebrate carefreely with the feeling of equality and unity.
4. What am I supposed to do with Holi colors?
That is very simple. Just throw it in the air and at eachother, and enjoy yourselves! For even more fun you can mix it with water and use it as face- or bodypaint. But in case of contact with mucous membranes or eyes, rinse it out immediately. When attending a Holi festival, we recommend using glasses or goggles to cover your eyes and a face mask to protect your airways. If you have any diseases regarding your respiratory tracts like asthma or have allergic conditions, we urge you to avoid Holi events in general.
5. What should I wear? Will the Holi powder stain my clothes?
Cleaning your clothes should’t pose a problem. It really depents on your washing machine and the detergent you use. Normally all the colors can be washed out, but please don’t wear your best suit and shoes, just to be safe :). Our recommendation is to wear cheap or older clothes in plain white as the colors develop their brightest effects on white surfaces. But please do note that we do not take any liability for stained clothes.
6. What happens to my hair?
Holi colors are washed out easily from your hair in most cases, so no need to worry. But blondes have to watch out espacially, since the structure of bleached hair is damaged. So its likely that small particles of Holi powder sink into the damaged hair structure. Preparing your hair with hair oil is highly recommended if you want to avoid stained hair. But still, if your hair should sustain Holi coloring there are several ways to treat it. You can use anti-dandruff shampoo or treat your hair with olive oil mixed with citric acid, then rinse it off with aspirin tablets dissolved in water. Also we suggest using deep-cleaning shampoo and getting decoloration from your trusted hairdresser. Please note that we do not take any liability for colored hair as it is due to damaged hair structure through bleaching.
7. How much Holi colors do I need for my Holi event?
Our recommendation for Holi festivals is 5 pouches of Holi powder per person to achieve the greatest color effect.