How to make Holi Color Powder at Home
Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, is a vibrant celebration observed on the last full moon of the lunar month Phalguna (February/March). This joyous festival is renowned for its exuberant use of colors, symbolizing the arrival of spring and the breaking down of barriers between individuals. During Holi, people joyfully douse each other with powdered colors, creating an atmosphere of shared excitement and camaraderie.
The following oneHOWTO article explains, step by step, how to make your own DIY Holi colour powder, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable Festival of Colors for all.
- Differences between dry and wet colors
- How to make red color for Holi celebrations
- How to make orange color for Holi celebrations
- How to make yellow color for Holi celebrations
- How to make blue color for Holi celebrations
- How to make green color for Holi celebrations
- How to make pink color for Holi celebrations
- How to make brown color for Holi celebrations
- Alternatives to other dry colors for powder
Differences between dry and wet colors
One of the distinguishing features of Holi is the use of both dry colors and wet colors, each offering a unique experience and adding to the festive atmosphere.
Dry colors, also known as powdered colors, form an integral part of Holi celebrations. These colors are made by grinding and drying natural ingredients, such as flowers, herbs, and spices. The result is a fine and vibrant powder that comes in an assortment of captivating hues.
Wet colors, as the name suggests, involve the use of liquid or paste-based colors during Holi. This form of color application brings a different dimension of delight to the celebrations. Wet colors are created by mixing water with natural dyes or food-grade colorants, resulting in a colorful concoction ready to be sprayed, thrown, or smeared on participants.
Each type of color brings its own charm and significance to the joyous celebration. In the upcoming sections, we will delve into the art of creating both dry and wet colors, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the magic of Holi.
Do not miss this other article, where we explain everything you need to know on how to celebrate Holi in India.
How to make red color for Holi celebrations
Red is the epitome of energy and excitement, making it a must-have color for Holi festivities.
Dry Red Color
- Red sandalwood powder: although it may be a bit pricey, red sandalwood powder is not only visually stunning but also beneficial for the skin. Its rich red shade makes it a perfect choice for Holi colors.
- Dried flower petals: sun-drying red rose petals or hibiscus petals and grinding them into a powder creates a crisp and beautiful natural red color, adding an enchanting touch to your celebrations.
- Sinduria (Annatto): this brick-red fruit, resembling a water chestnut, can be powdered to produce a vibrant red color, infusing your Holi festivities with a touch of uniqueness.
Wet Red Color
- Pomegranate peel: boiling red pomegranate peels in water yields a stunning red color that can be used as a base for wet colors during Holi.
- Lime and turmeric mix: create a bright orangish-red color by combining a pinch of lime powder, two spoons of turmeric, and a few drops of water. Dilute the mixture in 10 liters of water for a captivating hue.
- Red sandalwood infusion: boil two teaspoons of red sandalwood powder in one liter of water to obtain a lovely red color that can be used for wet applications.
- Red hibiscus soak: immerse red hibiscus flowers in water overnight for a naturally vibrant red color that can be incorporated into your Holi celebrations.
- Madder tree wood: boil the wood of the Madder tree in water to extract a deep and rich red color, perfect for adding intensity to your festivities.
Be sure to check this other article, where we explain what to wear for Holi color festival.
How to make orange color for Holi celebrations
In the vivid spectrum of Holi colors, the vibrant hue of orange holds a special place. Symbolizing enthusiasm and warmth, orange adds a captivating charm to the festivities.
Dry Orange Color
- Tesu Flower (Flame of Forest): the vibrant Tesu flower can be dried and powdered, resulting in a captivating dry orange color. Embrace the essence of this unique flower and infuse your Holi celebrations with its radiant hue.
Wet Orange Color
- Tesu Flower (Flame of Forest): soak the forest flowers overnight or boil them in water to extract a beautiful saffron color for your Holi powder. This natural dye will lend a mesmerizing touch to your festivities.
- Saffron (Kesar): soak a few stalks of saffron in 2 tablespoons of water for a few hours. Grind the saffron to create a fine paste and dilute it in water to achieve a fragrant saffron color, adding an aromatic element to your Holi celebration.
- Sandalwood: add a pinch of Sandalwood to one liter of water for an instant saffron color.
- Coral jasmine: collect and dry the stalks of the flowers during the early winter season. Soak them in water the day before Holi to achieve a radiant orange color that will grace your festivities on the day of Holi.
Don't forget to read this other article on how to remove Holi color from your face at home.
How to make yellow color for Holi celebrations
In the kaleidoscope of Holi colors, the enchanting shade of yellow radiates joy and positivity. Symbolizing brightness and energy, yellow adds a vibrant touch to the festivities.
Dry Yellow Color
- Turmeric and chickpea flour: combine turmeric powder and chickpea flour (gram flour) in a 1:2 ratio to obtain a dry yellow color. Turmeric and chickpea flour are commonly used ingredients that provide a vibrant yellow hue.
- Bael fruit rind: dry and grind the rind of Bael fruit (Aegle marmelos) to obtain a yellow powder. This natural ingredient adds a unique and captivating yellow shade to your Holi celebrations.
- Petals of yellow flowers: dry the petals of yellow flowers such as black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), and golden shower tree (Cassia fistula). Once dried, crush them into a fine powder and mix it with an appropriate quantity of chickpea flour or another suitable substitute. Each flower contributes to a distinct shade of yellow, offering a range of hues to explore.
Wet Yellow Color
- Yellow chrysanthemum: boil the petals of yellow chrysanthemum or marigold flowers in water and let it sit overnight. The infusion will result in a beautiful yellow-colored liquid, ready to be used as wet color during your Holi festivities.
- Turmeric water: add a teaspoon of turmeric to 2 liters of water and stir well to achieve a vibrant yellow color. This simple yet effective method provides a delightful yellow hue for your wet colors.
Be sure to check this other article, where we describe the traditional dances of India.
How to make blue color for Holi celebrations
Blue is a vibrant and captivating color that holds a special place in Holi celebrations. In this section, we will explore various ways to create blue color for your Holi festivities.
Dry Blue Color
- Jacaranda petals: dry the petals of Jacaranda flowers in a shaded area, and then grind them to obtain a blue-colored powder. It's important to collect and dry the flowers during summer when they are in bloom, as they provide a natural source of blue pigment.
- Blue hibiscus: in the region of Kerala, blue Hibiscus flowers can be dried and powdered to create a blue powder. This specific variety of Hibiscus offers a unique blue hue for your dry colors.
Wet Blue Color
- Indigo berries: crush the berries of the Indigo plant to obtain a dark blue color. The resulting powder can be used by diluting it in water. It's important to note that the use of indigo should be done with caution, as it can stain fabrics and skin. Proper dilution and testing are recommended.
- Indigo leaves: some varieties of indigo leaves can yield a rich blue color when boiled in water. By simmering the leaves, you can create a blue-colored liquid that can be used as a wet color during Holi celebrations.
You might also be interested in this other article, where we explain what to wear in India during monsoon season.
How to make green color for Holi celebrations
Green, the color of nature and renewal, holds great significance in Holi celebrations. It represents harmony, growth, and the arrival of spring.
Dry Green Color
- Henna powder: also known as hina, can be used as dry green color. It can also be mixed with flour to increase the quantity. Make sure that it is pure henna with no added ingredients.
- Leaves of Gulmohar tree (Delonix regia): they can be dried and finely powdered to achieve a beautiful green color.
- Wheat: you can also crush the tender green leaves of wheat to get a natural green color.
Wet Green Color
- Mehdi powder: mix 2 teaspoons of pure Mehdi powder in one liter of water for a beautiful green color.
- Neem tree: boil the freshly plucked leaves of Neem tree for a wet green color.
- Other leaves: a fine paste of leaves such as spinach, coriander, mint, tomato leaves etc., can be diluted in water to obtain the natural green color for your Holi powder.
Do not miss this other article where we explain how Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated privately at home.
How to make pink color for Holi celebrations
Creating pink color for Holi celebrations adds a touch of playfulness and sweetness to the festivities. Here are some methods to make pink color:
Dry Pink Color
- Red sandalwood powder: mix equal parts of red sandalwood powder and white flour to create a beautiful pink hue. You can adjust the ratio to achieve the desired shade of pink. This combination not only provides a vibrant color, but also benefits the skin.
Wet Pink Color
- Red hibiscus flowers: soak a handful of red hibiscus flowers in water overnight. Crush the soaked flowers to release their natural pigments and obtain a lovely pink color. This method ensures a safe and gentle option for wet pink color.
- Rose water: alternatively, you can mix a small amount of rose water or rose syrup with water to create a fragrant and delicate pink color. This adds a delightful aroma to your Holi celebrations.
- Pink onion peel: boil the peels of 10-15 pink onions in half a liter of water to obtain a vibrant magenta color. After boiling, remove the peels to eliminate the onion smell and ensure a pleasant experience.
- Beetroot soak: slice or grate one beetroot and soak it in 1 liter of water overnight. The result will be a beautiful deep magenta color powder that adds a striking touch to your Holi festivities.
If you are planning to visit India soon, do not miss this other article, where we have listed the best souvenirs to bring back from India.
How to make brown color for Holi celebrations
Brown is a warm and earthy color that is often associated with stability, reliability, and a connection to nature. It represents the natural world and brings a sense of grounding and comfort.
Dry Brown Color
- Henna and coffee: mix henna powder with finely ground coffee to achieve a beautiful shade of brown. Adjust the ratio of henna and coffee based on the desired intensity of the color.
- Turmeric and coffee: blend turmeric powder with finely ground coffee to create a warm and earthy brown shade. Experiment with the proportions of turmeric and coffee to achieve the desired color tone.
Wet Brown Color
- Tea bags: boil a few tea bags in water to extract the brown color. Let the water cool down, and you'll have a natural brown liquid that can be used for wet Holi celebrations.
- Natural dyes: use natural materials such as tree barks, walnut shells, or spices like cinnamon to boil in water and extract brown pigments. Strain the liquid and use it as a wet color during your Holi festivities.
If you are planning to visit India soon, do not miss this other article, where we give you some tips on how to dress conservatively while visiting Indi.
Alternatives to other dry colors for powder
For achieving hues of colors that cannot be obtained naturally, you can follow the recipe below:
- 1 cup of cornstarch
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water
- 1 ounce of food coloring
- In a mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Mix them well until you achieve a consistency that is not too runny or too thick, ensuring it doesn't turn into slime.
- To protect your hands from staining, wear protective gloves. Add the food coloring to the cornstarch mixture and thoroughly mix it until the color is evenly distributed.
- Allow the mixture to dry for two days in the bowl. This will help remove any excess moisture.
- After the drying period, transfer the dried powder to a baking tray. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) and place the tray inside for 30 minutes. This step further dries the mixture, and you may notice cracks forming on the surface.
- Once the powder has cooled down, carefully transfer it to a blender. Blend the mixture until you achieve a fine, powdered consistency.
- Store the homemade color powder in an airtight container to maintain its freshness and prevent clumping.
With this recipe, you can create a variety of vibrant colors for your Holi celebrations. Enjoy the festivities with your personalized and colorful powder!
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