Let Holi be a celebration of friendship, love, colors, happiness and triumph of good. Get into the Holi spirit with the onset of New Year and you will have the unobtrusive, incurrence, eye pleasing natural colors. Delhi people are lucky that spring is before Holi. Collect flowers and dry them in shade.
RED: Semul, china roses, roses, Indian Coral tree flowers
ORANGE RED: Begonia, Naustrasium
YELLOW: Pansies, sunflowers, marigolds and peela kaner
GREEN: Henna or other leaves of various kinds for greens
All that is needed is a visit to a forest, a garden to collect leaves, seeds, bark of trees, flowers, fruits and peels etc. Put flowers of Semul/ Tesu or Palas/ Dhak (trees which are common in India and bloom during March) in water and boil. Leave overnight to obtain reddish or saffron color.
The steps to make your own wet and dry colors are:
- Dry the color source in shade.
- Powder the dried material coarsely.
- Soak the powder in water for 30 minutes.
- Boil this water for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Cool it, filter it and keep it till you want to use it.
- Dry the residue in shade. Powder it finely and if you wish mix it with one of the natural bases. This becomes the dry Holi color, ready to be used.
Kitchen products also come handy to make natural colors. Use dried and grounded Orange peels, Lemon Peels, pomegranate peels or Sandalwood. To make natural pastes use Rose water. Mix a spoon of powdered haldi in a cup of gram flour for dry yellow color great for skin too or mix Haldi powder in water to make a wet color or mix it with lime powder to get reddish color.
Chopped pieces of Beetroot soaked in water for a few hours give a wonderful magenta color.
Natural products and their Colors
- Saffron – Brilliant yellow
- Turmeric – Yellow & Orange Brown
- Henna – Orange Red
- Manjistha – Rust Red
- Katha – Brown
- Beet Root – Magenta
- Indigo – Rich Blue
- Chlorophyll – Green
A cottage industry is setup, to generate useful/ harmless natural colors as well as generate employment. Replace the current toxin laden colors and become part of the contentious Indians and resurrect the real Holi.
The introduction of natural colors should be supplemented by a complete ban on the current colors in market, heavy in concentrations of Sudan Red, Metanil Yellow, Malachite Green and Salts of metals like lead, chromium, mercury, etc.
Dr. Iqbal Malik, Founder and Director