Faces are turned red, yellow, green, orange and hands are busy in squirting pichkaaris at others. Teeth have attained multiple hues while joy is refusing to die! That is the spirit of HOLI. The festival is huge in North India and being North Indian myself, I know how intricately it is being celebrated every year. Every year, we love to throw buckets of colorful water at others, squirming each others' faces with gulaal and running behind to get that only-cleaned-face-left painted with Holi colors. Loads of special Holi delicacies are made in advance. One of them is Gujhiya which is a sweet dish best savored when eaten slowly (if you don't know, click HERE to get the picture). But living in South India for years now, the loving embracing state has not let me forget the festival. People and kids around are enjoying it at the fullest. I was on my way to the doctor this morning when I spotted few super excited children playing colors in the society ground. I was scared and was making my way out very carefully. I surely did not want to reach to the clinic looking like a cocktail of colors but one little kid grinned at me and triggered a good shot from his pichkaari regardless of my constant instructions. At the end I always realize that no matter where you live in India, every state, every city has its specialty in embracing the festivals of others. I guess which is why we call India, the country of unity, in terms of culture, religion, language, people and many more.
While playing Holi is fun, its aftermath worries too. The skin gets dry. Itchy sometimes too. Increased number of hair fall, hard to maintain the softness of the skin during the cleansing process and what not. But no matter how much you succeed in getting that cleaned face and body, you still give others a reason to laugh at yourself because of some blotches and spots of color still lingering to the cheeks or forehead. Yeah! It is fun too.
Today, let's talk about the precaution measures so that fun lasts till the end of the fest. Here I am giving you some tips to handle those blues happened due to excessive color playing.
Pre-Holi set ups
- First thing first, always apply plenty of oil to your hair and a good amount of sunscreen on your exposed skin before playing colors. Doing this will ensure you at least less color mixing to your body.
- Try your best to use Organic colors. These colors are harmless. Thus, leaving you with minimal harmful effects on your skin. And if you can not get it, try to use gulaal or dry colors instead of wet ones. Wet colors pierce deeper into the skin while dry colors are rather easier to wipe off.
- Holi makes you go dehydrated. While playing, we do not realize how much time has lapsed in between. Our skin also gets rubbed and dried during the play. So make sure you drink plenty of water before starting the fun coloring. Also, keep juices (Orange, watermelon etc. juices are perfect) and water nearby to the play area to keep yourself hydrated during and after the fest. Try to stay away from alcohol and sugary drinks (like cola). They will make you harm more than they benefit your body.
- Play in shade. Sun dries the skin fast and if it is mixed with colors, the drying process goes even faster.
During-Holi set up - Enjoy as much as you can without harming others :)
Post-Holi set ups
- When you are done with hours of playing Holi colors, DO NOT start rubbing soap on your skin immediately. In fact, do not use soap at all! First, apply and massage with cleansing milk on the skin. Then using soft cotton balls, wipe it out. This way your skin will be moisturized as well as kept safe from harsh rubbing.
- If you are still keen to use soaps, use mild and moisturizer contained ones like Pears (mild) and Dove (mild and moisturized both). Such soaps take care of your skin while being in use.
- Try to bathe in shade or in bathroom. Wash your hair with plenty of normal water first, allowing the gallons of color to drain. Then using mild shampoo, wash your hair.
- For the last rinse, use lemon juice + water or Beer + lemon juice mixed in water or just beer. Wash hair lastly from any of these concoctions and leave it for few minutes and then wash your hair with just water. Lemon juice will balance the acid-alkaline balance of your scalp and beer is always known to bring shine to the strands.
- For face, try the mixture of curd + Turmeric powder + wheat flour + oats. Make a smooth paste and apply on your skin. Do not rub. Gently massage your skin. This will make sure your skin is being treated gently with soft ingredients. You can also use just curd as it is an optimum cleanser known for removing blemishes and dark spots from the first use.
- For face pack, try Honey + Curd + Turmeric powder. Make a smooth paste and apply to the exposed colored skin. Again, be gentle and massage. Do not rub.
- Do not drink tea or coffee. They will only make you dehydrated even more.
- Remember, colors are impossible to go from the day one. It takes few days to get a color-free skin. So even if you use all of the above, stay ready to have some colorful cheeks, chin or the eyes. After all, what would be the fun of playing Holi, the festival of colors, if you come out of your bathroom all cleaned like you haven't played at all?
- Accept all the consequences and enjoy the festival. Let the Holi hues of joy, happiness, greatness and fun stay till the end.
Last but not the least set up - Enjoy the delicacies. On this day, verity of dishes are being made at home. So enjoy all of them while you keep amusing seeing the colorful faces around.
Happy Holi! Enjoy the festival with friends and family. :)