By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
New Delhi, March 26: A festival celebrated joyously all over India Holi is a day of colours, where people of all ages and ethnicities have fun dousing each other in dyes and coloured water. Holi festival is based on one of the famous legends of killing evil demoness Holika. Another one of the famous legends is the one Lord Krishna complaining to mother Yashodha about Radha being fairer as compared to him. Mother Yashodha suggests that Krishna should colour Radha, in the colour of his choice. The mischievous Krishna is said to have coloured his beloved in a hue of colours thereafter. A tradition that is thereby we have been following.
Associated with the colour white, Holi symbolizes the end of one phase and the beginning of a new tomorrow. As Holi nears us, we celebrate the return of colours on the trees, in the sunsets, the arrival of spring, the end of winter. Holi stresses the need to get rid of the impassive winters, long nights and dry skin and lackluster hair. Interestingly, traditional Holi ritual and customs step in as the perfect body-rejuvenation therapy.
Colours and the mind
Colours, as we all know, are vital for a healthy body. While immersed in the vibrant colours of Holi, our mind and body experience myriads of benefits. Bright colours like red tend to stimulate the heartbeat & breathing. Colours like Yellow and Blue don’t just bring in a calming effect on our senses but also surround us with a sense of joy and happiness.
Advantages of Holika Dhahan
Holi, like many other festivals, falls on the cusp of winters and spring. This season also exposes us to a number of bacteria and pollution in the air around us. The mutation period of winter and spring induces the growth of bacteria in the atmosphere as well as in the body Hence, the burning of Holika, the day before Holi, where many lights a bonfire that symbolizes the burning of evil, follows the tradition of walking around the fire deodorizing our environment and cleansing the body from the bacteria.
Natural and organic colours
Traditionally the Holi colours were created with naturally helpful ingredients like hibiscus flowers, henna leaves, Kesar, sandalwood and more. These natural colours are not just good for your skin, hair and eyes but even cleanse and clear the dead skin. Ingredients such as these are used in Ayurveda for rejuvenating the body and giving it a healthy glow. Red colour is energizing and stimulate heart functions and breathing. Yellow has a soothing effect on organs especially the intestines and blue has a calming and tranquilizing effect on our body and senses.
Cool, energizing drinks
Wake up from our chilling winter slumber, our body needs more than just a cold shower. Renowned Holi drinks like Thandai and Kaanji act as great coolants and are an excellent source of anti-oxidants. Thandai, comprising of delicious milk flavour, has the goodness of almonds, watermelon seeds, fennel seeds and rose petals. While Kaanji, a traditional North Indian drink is fermented and packed with rich nutrients and fibre.
The festival of Holi also promotes good health in the southern regions of India. The morning after the burning of Holika, people put ash (Vibhuti) on their forehead. Along with that, they also mix Chandan (sandalwood paste) with the leaves and flowers from the Mango tree and consume it.