Holi and Science: The Science Behind Holi

4 minute read

Holi, or the festival of colours, is celebrated across the globe on the full moon day in the Phalgun month or March, as per the Gregorian calendar. As per traditional Hindu tales, Holi is associated with the Legend of the demon King Hiranyakashyap, his son Prahlad and Sistor Holika. However, have you ever wondered what would be the scientific reason behind Holi? Yes, there is a scientific reason behind the festival of Holi. Keep Reading to know the Science behind Holi.

Must Read: How to Take Care of the Environment During the Festival of Colours?

The Science Behind Holi


Holi is well known across India as a festival of colours. This festival is celebrated in Spring Season during the advent of summer and the end of winter. This phrase is the transition from winter to summer and induces atmospheric bacteria. In the process of burning Holika, which takes place before actually playing with colours, the temperature of the nearby area rises about 50-60 degree Celsius. As per tradition, after burning Holika, Indians perform parikrama or go around the bonfire or pyre. The heat released from this bonfire kills the bacteria in the human body, thereby cleansing it. 


Let us analyze some of the traditions related to the festival of Holi and its scientific benefits; 

  • In some parts of India, after the burning of Holika or as per Indians Holika Dahan, people put the remains of Holika or pyre on their forehead or mix it with the paste of sandalwood powder with Mango tree flowers and leaves. Further, this mixture is consumed by people in other parts of the country, believing it promotes better health. 
  • During Holi, people experience delays mainly due to the change of weather from cold to hot, which makes people lazy. However, to rejuvenate the human body, Holi offers people an option to sing with Dhol and other traditional instruments such as Manjira.
  • Further, people can also encounter this laziness in Holi while playing Holi, as playing with colours also involves some physical movements. 

Colours and Science Behind Holi

It is quite evident that colours play a major role in the fitness of the body, and deficiency of colours may cause an ailment. People can also treat the deficiency of colours by taking supplements of the colour elements through medicine or diet. When people pay for Holi, they use natural colours made from natural ingredients such as Neem, turmeric, Tesu and much more. The process of pouring and throwing colours at each other is fun and offers healing effects on the human body. Thus strengthening various ions present inside the human body and adding beauty. 

Must Read: Holi in Bollywood: Famous Holi Scenes from Hindi Movies

Tips for Playing a Safe Holi 

Here are some tips and tricks for playing a safer Holi this year.

  • It is highly recommended to coat a thick layer of coconut oil, moisturizer, or Vaseline so that it can prevent direct contact with skin and colours
  • You must also coat your hair with oil and lemon as it helps to prevent infection or dandruff caused by synthetic colours. 
  • Before playing Holi, drink lots and lots of water to avoid dehydration. Further, be careful while drinking water after playing Holi.
  • If you are an alcohol lover, do not consume bhang or alcohol excessively, as it may lead to heart failure or attack. 
  • Try to cover the top parts of your body with dark colour cotton clothes as synthetic clothes can be sticky and heavy.
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses as most people apply colours to your face immediately or surprisingly, which also leads to contact of colour with the eyes. 
  • After playing Holi, use besan and milk cream mixture to remove excess colours from your body.
  • If you itch in your eyes over a few hours, immediately consult a doctor. 

Must Read: Tricks and Tips for a Hassle-Free Holi!

Science Behind Holi: Make your own Colours


Markets at this point are usually flooded with chemical colours as these are comparatively cheaper than natural colours. Further chemical colours are highly demanded, and natural colours are unavailable in adequate quantities. However, numerous toxic components, such as chromium iodine, copper sulphate, etc., cause rashes, allergies, irritation, etc. Here are some colours and sources to make organic colours yourself at home.

Name of the Colours  Name of the Sources 
Green  Mehendi, spinach herbs, and pine needles 
Brown  Tea leaves, Katha or red maple leaves 
Yellow  Haldi or turmeric powder, sunflowers, gram flour or besan, Amaltas and species of marigold.
Purple  Indian berried, beetroot, and blue hibiscus 

Must Read: Holi Sweets Recipes – Check Out the Top Recipes That You Must Try This Year


Q1. Why is Holi celebrated?

Ans. The Holi Festival is a method to celebrate the arrival of spring as well as a chance for individuals to start over and let all of their inhibitions go. One of the few occasions, when fervent Hindus can let loose, is during the Holi Festival when legend has it, the gods turn a blind eye.

Q2. Why do we throw colour on Holi?

Ans. NationalGeographic.org claims that the “gulaal” (powdered paint) that is thrown during the event symbolises the campfire where Prahalad was rescued. The vibrant hues prevalent during the spring season are likewise honoured by the powders.

Q3. Is Holi colour harmful to humans?

The harmful chemicals used in the Holi colours, including as lead, asbestos, silica, and mica, are damaging to the skin and eyes. Allergies, corneal abrasion conjunctivitis, and eye trauma are common eye issues.

Hope you enjoyed reading these tips and tricks for a hassle-free Holi. Other than these tips and tricks, celebrate this festival of colours safely and harmless. Wishing you and your family Happy Holi!!!

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