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A festival of colors to remove impurities
Holi is a festival of love and joy. It should be used as a means of communication to remove the mental dirt and impurities to cleanse the mind and not engage in quarrels, violence or eve teasing. Holi can also be unsafe. Green and bluish green chemicals contain malachite green, which can be toxic to the eyes. Auramine, methyl violet, rhodamine and orange II are all phototoxic colors and can damage the skin. Mica in Holi colors can damage the skin. ‘Bhang’ or cannabis can precipitate acute abnormal mental behavior and psychosis. In susceptible individuals, it can increase the heart rate and blood pressure. Pre-treatment with a beta blocker can take away the bad effects of bhang. Alcohol can impair judgment and increase chances of accidents. Balloons can cause blunt injuries to the eyes and precipitate head injuries. Avoid playing Holi with strangers. Do not throw color at sensitive parts of the body, such as eyes. If color enters the eye, immediately wash it with a lot of water. If irritation persists, seek immediate medical aid. Some tips ----------------- Use floral colors instead of chemical dyes. Flowers like Marigold, China rose, Butterfly Pea, Flame of the Forest etc. are used for the extraction of colors. Use sunglasses to keep eyes safe from the harmful chemicals of the colors. Wear old and ragged clothes that may be discarded. Wear full-sleeved T-shirts or shirts and leggings/trousers that fully cover the legs. Wear socks. Brightly colored and dark colored clothes should be preferred. Keep your eyes and lips tightly closed, when color is being applied on you. Apply a thick layer of any oil on your body and hair till they glisten to make the skin slippery. This will help wash off colors easily later on. While washing off the color, use lukewarm water and keep eyes and lips tightly closed. While traveling, keep the car windows tightly shut. Use a hat, cap to protect the hair from being colored with hard-to rinse colors. If you venture out on the streets, avoid mob frenzy. Cross the road to the sidewalk across. Or, simply stay at a safe distance. Discourage children to play Holi with eggs, mud or gutter water. Avoid use of abir as it has flakes of mica. Stop children from forcibly applying color on a hesitant neighbor. Don’t walk alone on the streets on the day of Holi. Keep a big bucket of clean water handy for your children, so that they do not resort to gutter water and other unclean sources.

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