Sunday, March 18, 2018

Playing Holi | Tips and Advice for a Healthy and Happy Holiday

Holi is one of our family's favorite springtime traditions.  We go crazy with color and chasing after each other. 

It is a beautiful holiday.   

It is about renewal and faith in God.  It is about community.   It is about pure joy and love.  It is about family.

We played on actual Holi at home and at the temple Radha Madhav Dham in Austin on Saturday.  Lakshman has also been having a great time playing with the leftover Holi powder in the backyard whenever he can. Play Holi Everyday, right?

I wore this outfit both times.  The first day my mom washed it and it came out white.  The second day I washed it and the lace was stained orange even with bleach. Go figure. 

Some things to consider : 

1. Clothing will likely stain no matter what.  If you keep them dry and oil/sweat free before washing you may have a better chance of getting things clean.  Also, shaking off excess powder before washing will make a big difference also.  Bleach is always an option but I usually do this only if clothes need a second wash.

2. Keep your mouth closed while playing.  A good idea to remind kids of this too.

3. Do not spray Holi in the face.  Another good rule to emphasize with kids.  This prevents inhaling it which can irritate your throat and lungs even if the powder is non-toxic/organic.

4. DO NOT USE YOUR DSLR.  I have ruined a camera and lens this way.  A few direct hits and the camera is totally done.  Organic powder seemed to be a worse offender because the grains were fine and made more of a mist, which created an uncleanable layer of dust on all surfaces, lens, mirrors, sensors, etc. Our iphones seem to be okay and we can get some great images with portrait mode now anyway.

5. We use small re-usable buckets from the dollar spot at Target to dole out manage-able amounts of Holi to the kids.

6. Playing at home can be a lot of fun. The powder can easily be washed off the patio with water and is fine for the lawn.

7. Use old sheets or towels to protect your car on the way home.  We used old crib sheets we were about to toss and they were the perfect size. This helps to minimize or completely avoid the need to vacuum your car after. Again, shake off as much of the excess powder as you can at the venue.

8. Be respectful.  This is ultimately a religious holiday.  Take a little time to honor the traditions it stems from.  Learning about it is a great way to do that. Nadya Agarwal's article on cultural appropriation and the Color Run offers a really good perspective on the issue.

9. The crowds at big events can be a little overwhelming.  If you have little ones, plan on staying off to one side to start.

It is so much fun!!

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