Tomorrow is the HOLI the festival of colors India celebrates every year marking the end of winter season and starting of summer. This article will not only guide you through the safety measures & tips to be followed while playing the HOLI but it will also guide you through the various aspects of the colour safety, photography safety tips and after cleansing tips, please read it carefully before you face the HOLI this year.
The HOLI is celebrated in north India with lots of enthusiasm and fun. In Goa HOLI is celebrated as part of the SHIGMO festival which is 14 days festival celebrated in all over the Goa in phase manner. But following the trend of north India the new generation celebrates HOLI on the first day. There are many events organized by the various event companies, hotels and resorts in Goa.
Panaji the capital city of Goa witness HOLI on commercial level with many programs organized Panaji citizens committee at Azad Maidan, people not only from Panaji but all the parts of Goa participate in this program. The HOLI is celebrated in entire Goa using tons of colors of various genres from simple GULAL to Eco friendly colors and other comically treated colors too, Although colors are not always hazardous but you never know what you are going to face with and hence the taking of precautions is must
Tip # 1 PLAY SAFE
Play safe. Don’t get to overexcited and do not let others to be rude on you. The best option would be to play with natural homemade colours. Your skin and hair will feel tampered with the use of skin friendly natural products. If natural colours are not possible, then ensure a better quality eco colours. Buy colours from a reputed shop or vendor. Use more of red or pink colours which looks good and can easily taken off. Gaudy purple, green, yellow, orange have more harmful chemicals in them and should be avoided. Make sure that your face is well creamed before and after the play. Apply thick coating of paint on your nails- both in fingers and toes so that they remain protected. Oil your hair well, so that colour doesn’t stick on your hair and can be washed off easily later. Cover your hair. Make use of hat or caps to protect your hair from being coloured with hard-to-rinse dyes.
Tip # 2 SAFETY OF EYES
Make sure that powder or any other product does not get inside your eyes. Eyes are extremely vulnerable on Holi because of their strategic place in body and also because of the use of harmful chemicals in colors these days. Please ensure that your eyes remain protected at all times. Use a sunglass to protect your eyes from a misfire of colour filled darts or water jets. Use dental caps to save your teeth from any unwanted stains. Try to save yourself off from all possible attacks on the face. In case your such attempts fail, keep your eyes and lips tightly shut if you are attacked on your face.
Tip # 3 USE OLD CLOTHES
Put on your worst clothes so that you won’t have to take on the hassles of an immediate washing. Rags like tattered denims and bright shades like black, blue, green, purple are highly recommended. Brightly colored and dark colored clothes are preferable for the mood of the day. This way, you will save a lot of time in laundering your stained clothes.
Tip # 4 OVERALL SAFETIES
When traveling keep the car windows thoroughly shut, even if you don’t have an AC car. Do not bump into the frenzied group of mob if you take to streets. Better you cross the road to the sidewalk across. Or, simply stay at a safe distance. Do not use permanent dyes. If someone has applied it on you, do not rub the face with soap immediately in order to get rid off it, especially when it is wet. Instead, use good quality cleansing milk for removal. It’s better than using soap, which will dry up your skin. Rotten eggs when thrown on your head, flying missiles from locality buildings…are still not too bad, will be smelly yet is a good conditioner for your hair. But tar, shit, Mobil, stones and all the rubbish that you can be hit with is not. Avoid being a prey to hooligans.
Tip # 4 SKIN SAFETIES
Make sure that you apply a good sunscreen or moisturizer before or after you play with colours. Use vaseline, olive oil, coconut oil, mustard oil on your face and body. Oil your hair with coconut, olive or castor oil. Doing so will protect your hair from damage by harmful chemicals. It will also make it easier to remove while washing off colours. You can also cover your head with a thick scarf to protect your hair from being soaked in colour. Protect your lips by using a good lip gloss/lip balm. If you are prone to rashes or allergies, consult a dermatologist whether you need to take preventive measures for your skin. Never sit in sunlight after playing with colours as it will make difficult to remove as well as harm your skin. If you are prone to skin allergies, avoid playing with gulal altogether. Going to a dermatologist (skin specialist) serves no purpose, after the damage is done.
Tip # 5 USE PLENTY OF COCONUT OIL
If you are playing Holi, and do not want to use expensive lotions and cleansing creams then we have very reasonable solution for that apply a thick layer of coconut or any oil on your body and hair until they glisten and you become slippery. The oily coat would protect you from the immediate effect of harmful chemicals of the colors of Holi. This will not only help in escaping from the frenzied mob attack, but also will help you to wash off colors easily, later on. While washing off the color from your face, use lukewarm water and keep your eyes and lips tightly closed.
Tip # 6 TIPS FOR REMOVING COLOURS EFFECTIVELY
After the HOLI is over the major task in front of every reveller is to get rid of the colours from our body starting with
HAIR: before you use a shampoo, rinse your hair with water to allow the additional colours to wash off. It is extremely vital to condition your hair to prevent any hair damage. Make a simple hair pack by soaking a few fenugreek (methi) seeds in four tbsps. of curd. Apply this pack or an egg yolk on your scalp and wash your hair with a good shampoo after 30 minutes. You can also apply a mixture of honey and olive oil for deep conditioning.
FACE: Be very gentle on your face do not scrub the colour off with soap. Opt for a mild cleanser and follow it up with a lot of moisturising cream. If you feel any skin irritation during the process of taking off the colours, then take 2 tbsps. of calamine powder and mix it with a few drops of honey and rosewater to make a paste. Apply this on your face and once it has dried up, wash off with water and apply a moisturiser. You can also take off the colour with a mixture of besan and milk.
BODY: You can use a homemade scrub by mixing well the following ingredients- 2 tbsp. wheat bran (choker), 1 tbsp. sandalwood powder, 1 tbsp. rice flour, along with some poppy seeds (khus-khus), few drops of honey and a mashed tomato. Scrub your body with this to clear off the colours and to bounce back to your fair and glowing skin. You can also rub a piece of papaya on coloured areas of the face and body to get rid of the colours. There is another good body scrub you can use to wash off colours. Mix with curd, besan, orange-peel powder along with little turmeric, a few drops of lemon and 1 tbsp. of olive oil. This will help to clean your skin.
Tip # 7 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR THIS HOLI
If you are using the expensive camera with detachable lenses then you need to be extra carefully with it, as the lense catches dust and it’s very expensive to have its servicing done. There are various kinds of options available from underwater housing to plastic bags but seeing what other photographers used, dedicated rain covers seem like the best choice. Even using those, your camera and lenses will still get a coating because the stuff just gets absolutely everywhere. In case you still get the dust and water inside then best thing is to clean up pretty well if you get a professional cleaning afterwards.
Choose your lenses carefully as the changing of lenses is a nightmare. Often there’s no break from the chaos and no quiet corner to escape to for a moment, so you’ll need to be strategic about it. If you’ve asked around and done a bit of research, you should know a little about what to expect at certain times so that gives you a head start. You’ll need to protect your lenses and UV filters are perfect because they don’t cut out any of the light hitting the sensor. As a general rule, the more expensive filters give a better clarity of photo and I would normally try to use a top brand of filter.
On the day of HOLI people are in high spirits and more than happy to be photographed. The hardest part is that they’re often moving about a lot and somebody might jump in front of the lens as you’re shooting a group. It is recommended using back button focus to cope with this. You can do this on most DSLRs and will need to consult your manual (or google it) to find out how to set it, but basically it means that a button on the back of your camera will now be the focus button, leaving the shutter button free to do only one thing – take the photo. Essentially, the shutter button no longer focuses on half press. So if you focus on a group with the back button, the focus is locked there until you change it. The camera can’t suddenly re-focus on a moving person coming into the frame when you don’t want it to. If you’re going to do this though, make sure you’re camera is set up correctly and that you’ve practiced in advance as it takes a little getting used to. Once you’re used to it though you might never go back.
Besides getting the photos, make sure you enjoy it and take it all in, not only through the viewfinder. And if you take a step back and stop shooting now and again, you can watch what’s going on and identify those throwing the powder and those most likely to do something worth shooting. It could help you to get better shots and enjoy what’s going on even more.