Holi Festival Celebrating Spring

Mar 2018
Yes folks, spring is eventually coming. Here’s proof. The Holi Festival celebrating spring is taking place right now in India. That’s a sure sign the weather is about to change. At least that’s what I’m choosing to believe. The festival of color marks the end of the winter season and is celebrated with much delight by Hindus across India and the world.

Bonfires are lit the day before it begins to mark the end of the demoness Holika.  The festival is certainly one of the most brilliant of celebrations in a place I fell in love with long ago for its everyday color culture.

The end of winter, the start of the harvest season and the beginning of the season of growth combine with the triumph of good over evil.  No wonder everyone gets whipped up into such a frenzy.  The dates if the festival vary from year to year depending on the appearance of the moon and the solar cycle.
Even though I’ve traveled to India many times, this one event remains elusive. The Holi Festival celebrating spring is such a major event, and I have yet to attend! I’ve even been invited to variations on the theme here in the US, but I think I want to save myself for the real deal. Although I’ve always wanted to be in India during the festivities, I’m not sure about all the throwing of colored powders. It looks like it would be impossible to get away unscathed. You can’t be an uninvolved observer for this festival and take a back seat.
That thought got me thinking about the powders that are at the center of all the activity.  I’ve had a bit of manufacturing experience in India, and although they’ve made great strides with the environment, I wanted to find out more about the toxic nature of the powders.
Each of the colors has a special signifigance:

magenta – the color of breaking free

safron + orange – festivity, joy, happiness, optimism

blue – peace + faith

green – purity + harmony

yellow – energy + intellect

 red – festive energy + love

When the festival was originally started, all the materials were natural and it wasn’t until the population really started to grow, that synthetics were introduced.  People started getting ill from the toxic materials that were in the powders. Now the Holi Festival celebrates spring and is taking a more organic approach to the dyes used in the powders.

Holi Festival celebrating spring

Arrowroot is being used as a base for the powders.  I have had experience with this base when I was detoxing my skin for allergies, and it makes a great talc substitute.

Tumeric, beets, henna and flower petals such as blue hibiscus, rose and jacaranda are all being used now to make the brightly colored powders. There is also a maize starch {organic galal} used as a base. I doubt that this is everywhere, but it is a step in the right direction for the most colorful Holi Festival celebrating spring.
Holi festival celebrating spring

What do you think? Would you be in or out of the Holi Festival celebrating spring?

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India Holi Festival Celebrating Spring