Today’s Holi in India, the festival that celebrates Spring and all of its glory. Holi is synonymous with colour and up and down the country and among the diaspora worldwide, there’s this sense of joy and pure fun that only Holi can bring.
But, on the flip side, it is also a festival that is not very environment-friendly. Apart from throwing the colours over each other, there’s also the gallons of water that’s used to mix the colours and spray them all over the revellers. Not to mention the gallons yet that are needed to wash the colours OFF the brightly pink and yellow (and the other colours of the rainbow!) people after the fun’s done.
Not a great thing when there are people desperate for water in many parts of the world, right? I mean, think of the poor mum washing her newborn off in front of her makeshift tent at the refugee centre, using the water from the puddles nearby? Or the child that is
According to the WWF, around 1.1 billion of the world’s populace lack access to clean water and 2.7 billion people run out of it at least once a month.
So, how not to be a killjoy and celebrate the arrival of spring, responsibly? We have some ideas…
Holi – and spring – are all about colours. So, bring them in in other ways. Make colourful food – decorate a doughnut with sprinkles, make rainbow cupcakes – and throw a massive street party. Get the whole neighbourhood together and feed the kids and old people who don’t have any and just have a massive picnic together. It is spring for them too!
Know what else is full of colours? And nature? Fruits! Make up a whole bunch of fruit juices and lollies and share with your friends. Get the kids of the neighbourhood around and set up a Lolly Stand and distribute it to everyone! Healthy AND fun!
Even if you do play Holi, do keep it a dry one. Use organic colours and natural products, like wild turmeric (kasthuri manjal) for yellow etc, products that will wash off easily and will not harm you or the soil.
Just so you know we are not anti-fun around these parts, here’s a top tip for those of you that are playing holi, WITH the requisite colours – massage some oil onto your hair and skin first thing. This way, even when you get covered in colours, they won’t seep into your skin and will wash off easily, with a lot less water used in the process.
Happy holi and remember: