Nepal is renowned for various festivals. Some travel blog also symbolize it as country of nonstop festivals. There are more than three hundred and sixty five festivals in a year. But talking about Holi, this is probably the most colorful festival from Nepalese Calendar; at least for me it is the most colorful festival. This is not about religion, no matter whether Hindu or Buddhist or Christian or Muslim everybody on the street seems to be enjoying the festival. This is the melting pot for all religions of Nepal. Right next to the day of celebration of Holi in Nepal, India also celebrates the same festival of color. Despite of happiness and harmony, it may be the time for being more careful for people who have skin allergies. Along with skin allergies, there are several other health related factors that one needs to pay attention towards. On this blog I will be discussing in general about cons of festival along with some things that one needs to pay attention in order to stay safe during Holi.
I would like to discuss broadly on four different topics which I found directly or indirectly related to Holi and recommend you to pay attention on these factors if you are planning to celebrate festival of colors in Nepal or India.
Table of Content
1. Skin Allergies
Holi is supposed to be played with natural colors and water. It used to happen like that before. But I think mainly because of scarcity of water in Kathmandu people started using dirty source of water. Different chemical colors are on used during Holi. Among those colors available in market, high level of mercury sulphite, lead oxide and copper sulphate are found to be used in those colors. With direct contact with skin these ingredients can result on skin cancer. Puffiness, mild burning, stinging, redness are signs of skin allergies. These initial signs can even results on blister. If those blisters rupture then it might end on secondary bacterial infections. If you have sensitive skin I recommend you not to expose yourself on streets. People with asthma can be more affected with particles used on colors. Instead of traditional red and yellow color, trend has completely changed nowadays.
Especially youths love to do face painting with shining colors manufactured with powder glass. When people inhale those components such color particles get settled on kidneys, liver, nose and ears. Silica is used on colors for producing more shine but if it reacts with some other oils it might result on permanent damages of skin. I’m twenty four years old when I’m writing this article and according to doctors, a child’s skin is more sensitive than ours. So if you are parent with child then I recommend you to take care of your children. Make sure they are not playing such highly toxic colors.
2. Hair and Nail Care
You will definitely use your hand to play colors. Your hair will be exposed too. After skin your hair and nail are found mostly affected by colors and chemical. Colors might lead to destructions of natural oil so your hair might be more fragile, dry and stained. Similar to your hair harmful chemicals might stain your nail, especially underneath. If you eat with your hand even after washing it properly you might end on food poisoning. I recommend using spoon for couple of days even after the festival. If you feel like vomiting or end with diarrhea or abdominal pain then blame those colors and go to nearest medical consultant for some medicine or advice.
3. Physical Injuries
Color won’t result on physical injuries normally, but if your eyes are exposed with silica it might result temporary or permanent blindness. Apart from colors, people are found throwing balloons and plastic filled with water. One should be highly cautious while playing Holi from roof of building cause’ every year I hear about people falling from roofs. Apart from that, even on the streets people are found running here and there. Road surface are definitely more slippery than they used to be. Just in case if you slip down, then chances of getting physical injury is very high. Hurled water balloons can hurt a lot if they hit sensitive parts of human body. I mostly find girls being targeted of those hurled water balloons and plastic. News of girl being knocked down getting unconscious was quite common in past because of balloons and plastics. I recommend everyone to play Holi being well mannered and don’t just make girl your target.
4. Stay away from intoxicants
Culture of consuming alcohols and marijuana is quite common during Holi. Although weeds are not legal like in Shivaratri Festival, people are found more stoned and drunk during Holi. If such drunk or stoned people get physically injured then chances of difficulty in breathing is found to be high. Apart from these, people also involved in quarreling after consumption of alcohol. With strict action of traffic police against drink and drive, accidents rate are founds to be reduced drastically in comparison to past few years. It is better if you can avoid riding two wheeler during Holi cause’ even if you are being careful you might get hurt. For example if hurled water balloons hits you either intentionally or unintentionally while riding then you might easily loose control and anything bad can happen.
In my opinion, if you practice following rules and play safe then I bet there won’t arise such circumstances unfavorable for you and society.
- Avoid playing Holi on rooftop and avoid running and jumping on the wet floor.
- Do not consume alcohol. Even if you are not riding please don’t consume alcohol or any other intoxicants.
- When possible wear sunglasses, whereas while talking with others remove it and make better communication through eye contact.
- Avoid artificial shiny and chemical colors. Instead, try to play with traditional red and yellow colors.
- Block opening of your ears with cotton balls. (If possible use some Vaseline on cotton)
- Apply moisturizing lotion on your body firmly before exposing yourself on the street.
- It will be better to wear full sleeved cloth rather than half or sleeveless cloth.
- Apply some oil on your hair, better wrap your head with plastic or scarf for extra protection.
- While preparing or mixing a color or making color solution, try to use ‘use and throw’ medical gloves.
- If you feel like skin allergies or something uncomfortable then quit playing immediately and wash your body with soap.
- Just try to play with plain water and make it is clean too. Please don’t use contaminated water.
- Do not force anyone to play, let them enjoy watching you and others.
- Take a good bath with moisturizing soaps and use lots of moisturizing cream at least for a week even if you don’t use moisturizing cream frequently.