The festival of colours is dawning upon us with it all the preparations for the festivities.
2021 brings with itself a new ray of hope, so let us pledge to make this year better and easier for everyone around us, especially the planet we live in.
Holi is associated with fun, colours, pichkaris and homemade sweets. But the other side of this coin is the face of water pollution, environmental deterrents and skin allergies. Although saddening, we can do a lot to prevent it, and associate our festival with only joy and happiness.
It is safer to celebrate holi in an eco-friendly manner, with your family at home. This way you can all come together and spend some quality time while involving yourselves in fun activities.
A couple of days preceding the festival, prepare rasogullas and gujiyas for the main day together. What better bonding activity for relatives than to cook together!
Round up the children and the elders, and sit together to decorate around the house with rangolis. You could use old rangoli colours, or even fresh flowers. These can be cleaned off very easily and the flowers are biodegradable so there would be no waste produced.
Reusable rangolis made of cork can also be put around the house. The best part? They double as coasters and fridge magnets, so they come in handy all through the year.
If you’d prefer a more permanent design on the floor, you could make alpanas with oil paint.
Decorate your house and patio with origami buntings and colourful paper lanterns. You can make them out of coloured paper with your kids or get them online.
Fairy lights bring in a good mood no matter where you put them, and whenever you decide to light them up. String them around for a soft touch of festive feel.
The main low point when it comes to holi is the harmful nature of the synthetic colours and wastage of water. To tackle it, there are various natural and eco-friendly options available. You can keep collecting colourful flowers a few weeks prior, dry them in the sun and grind them up to make your own eco-friendly gulaal for dry holi.
If you missed out on the well-in-advance preparations, you can always get natural gulaal holi colours from the market. Or just use fresh flowers! The benefit with them is that they’re plain natural flowers, completely biodegradable- so they’ll enrich the soil after you’re done playing with them.
Organise a pot luck with your neighbours, and relish in the delicious flavours and conversations. You can all get together and whip up batches of lemonade, mocktails, and thandai. Include party games like tambola or even holi-inspired games to play with your family and friends.
Do your best to not use disposable utensils and to produce as less wastage as possible. Donate the leftover food to organisations that distribute food or homeless shelters.
The only thing missing from your celebrations at this point would be the colour stains on your white clothes. So switch things up this holi, and compensate for those colours by wearing quirky and radiant clothes from your slow fashion wardrobe! If you won’t put colours on yourself, make sure you dress yourself up in colourful clothes.
As a token of love, you can gift everyone a sapling or a pot of succulents. This way they’d always be reminded of you and also be encouraged to plant more trees.
The real attraction of any festival is the happiness it brings along. And what is more important in the current times is to stay safe and healthy. So stay close to your loved ones, and celebrate this festival which brings in as much light and hope as it does colour.
And don’t forget to be grateful to the earth and cause as little damage as you can!