Holi is around the corner, the vibrant, colourful festival that is celebrated by one and all. It brightens our lives adding joy and happiness, bringing everyone together.
A Brief History on Holi:
Holi also marks the onset of spring and is deeply connected to Hindu Mythology. ‘Holika’, a female demon and sister of King Hiranyakashyap was asked to kill ‘Prahalad’, the king’s son as he was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. However, Prahalad was saved by the Lord and Holika gets killed in the fire. We celebrate the ‘Holika Dahan’ a night before Holi (also known as Chotti Holi) by lighting bonfires. It is believed that all the bad/evil is destroyed and enemies are forgiven; the next day brings the triumph of good and positivity in life. The next day is called as Dhuleti, where people play with colours from the morning. Per contra, throwing colours on each other has originated from the love story of Radha-Krishna. People wear white clothes, white symbolizes the end and marks the beginning of the new tomorrow.
How Ayurveda helps you during the Holi festival?
Celebrating the festival of colours not only brings happiness but rejuvenates you from within. No wonder, Ayurveda again has a huge role in this. The traditional Holi customs are a perfectly tailored body-rejuvenation therapy. It’s hard to agree, right?
We always follow a pre-Holi and post-Holi regimen usually dictated by elders.
Generally, coconut oil or almond oil is applied well all over our body, so that the colours can be easily removed later. This body oil massage is nothing but Abhyanga in Ayurveda. The body oiling nourishes and protects the skin by all kinds of irritants. Colours make your skin dry, leaving dehydrated. But the pre-conditioning of your body with these oils prevents skin-dehydration.
It starts with ‘Holika Dahan’ wherein logs of wood are piled up and burnt. People gather and do a parikrama around the holy fire as a part of rituals. Did you know that the heat emanating from the fire helps our body to get rid of the accumulated Kapha that can cause diseases? Walking briskly around the fire leads to the digestion of increased phlegm. This, in turn, rejuvenates our mind and body. Some say burning of wood, plant twigs drive away insects or mosquitoes, deodorizes & purifies our surrounding environment.
The next morning is absolutely fun as we play with colours. Colours are always eye-pleasing, soothing and facts state that colours revive, heal our body. Colours are also connected with the 7 chakras of the body that impacts our body energies. They clear off the negativity and helps in restoring positivity. Nevertheless, colours help in restoring the three doshas. Furthermore, the five basic elements of Ayurveda is associated with one colour each, any disturbances lead to an imbalance in body, mind and soul.
Prithvi – Yellow colour
Jala – Deep blue colour
Aakash – Light blue colour
Vayu – Green colour
Agni – Red colour
Besides, when you use natural organic colours, they act as Ubtans. Natural colours are rich in natural ingredients such as Turmeric, Sandalwood, Kesar, Henna, Hibiscus, Rose, etc. They are gentle on your skin. Some are deep cleansers removing the dead skin and gives you a healthy bright glow.
It is almost similar to the pre-Holi regimen. Oil is used to remove the colours from your body. Hibiscus or neem is used to deep cleanse your hair to remove all the impurities and restore your healthy shiny hair. You can use Besan with milk paste to get rid of rigid colour stains that don’t leave your body. Pamper yourself with Ayurvedic formulations to exfoliate your face and soothe the skin. Use infused oils to moisturize your skin.
Any festival celebration is incomplete without sweets (gujiya) and drinks. Traditional Holi drink -Thandaai is a great coolant and also a great source of anti-oxidants. It is made from nutrient-rich ingredients such as milk, almonds, watermelon seeds, fennel seeds, and rose petals.
Let’s play an Ayurvedic Holi this year using natural products.
Amrutam Family wishes you all a happy, safe and joyous Holi!!