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Holi – the festival of colours – is around. In this vibrant festival, people gather together, apply gulaal (colours), splash water on each other, drink Thandai, and share delicious meals. This year Holika Dahan will be celebrated on 28th March, and Holi will be played on 29th March. While every Indian is looking forward to this community celebration, there are also chances of increasing coronavirus cases due to social distancing negligence.

Why Play Contactless Holi?

Last year, around the same time, the world came to a standstill with the onset of a life-threatening pandemic. While India is still recovering from the pandemic’s first wave, it also grapples with the second wave, which appears to have a higher intensity than the first one.

With the second wave and the consequent surge in COVID-19 cases in India, major Indian states have banned public gatherings and celebrations. Indians need to ensure a contactless Holi for public health safety during this pandemic.

In the wake of the pandemic, it’s advisable to avoid playing Holi with unknown people who may be infection carriers. Restrict your celebrations with family and close friends at home or in a fairly large open area

Play Holi at Home With Your Family

One of the best ways to enjoy Holi and follow the COVID-19 protocols is to play with your family. This way, you can easily maintain social distancing norms and ensure your loved ones’ safety.  Some ways to make the occasion worth remembering are:

– Prepare Your Home for Festivities

For a Holi house party, spruce up your home with new accessories, carpets, or wallpaper, and add a few colourful cushions to bring in the festival vibe.  Make your home radiant with some fairy lights, lanterns, and diyas. Keep a Bollywood playlist ready to enliven the party mood and encourage guests to shake a leg.

– Whip up Traditional Dishes at Home

The lockdown reduced the possibility of ordering food. But it also brought in the sense of oneness among families as many cooked meals and dined together. This Holi, you can continue the community dining experience by having a pot luck meal. Ask your family and friends to whip traditional dishes, including samosa, chaats, Paani Puri, biryanis, Gujiya, and Thandai. Also, add fresh juices to your drink list to ensure your guests stay hydrated.

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– Play Organic and Eco-friendly Holi

Time and again, global warming and the recent pandemic have reminded us how human negligence affects the environment. This Holi, make sure you play a safe and eco-friendly Holi. Use organic colours that have zero chemicals and do not harm your skin and hair. Try to play dry Holi. This will not only save you and your loved ones from catching flu or viral infection but also help conserve water.

– Watch Holi Celebrations Across India

Together with your family, you can watch the Holi celebrations across India from the comfort of your home. Witness the traditional celebrations in Uttar Pradesh on channels like brijlive.in and Vrindavan TV. These channels have live streaming of pujas, daily discourses and festivities at ISCKON temple, Mathura, Vrindavan, and other religious places in the state.

– Organise Some Fun Activities

Holi is all about colours, so why not bring these colours onto a palette as well. Arrange for a paint party or a fun art and crafts activity that will unleash creativity in both young and old. You can also plan a storytelling session for your kids to explain the significance of the festival. A movie marathon is another idea to unwind with family and friends after everyone has had their bit of fun with colours.

 

Play Holi with Social Distancing – The Ways

With the pandemic still looming larges and cases surging, it’s important to play Holi with social distancing norms. Though, it may seem difficult, it isn’t. You can easily do it in the following ways

– Maintain Six-feet Distance and Avoid Shaking and Hugging

Holi, like every Indian festival, is a reason to meet your family and friends. This celebration gives you a chance to bond with your loved ones and express your warmth and love through hugs. However, current times call for a restrain in physical contact. To ensure your and your loved one’s safety, avoid shaking hands with people or hugging them and maintain a six feet of distance at least.

– Avoid Public Gatherings

Holi is a community celebration where people from all walks of life come together and enjoy the festivities. In the pre-pandemic era, large gatherings and public parties have been a major phenomena of Holi. Streets filled with people throwing gulaal or water balloons on each other have been a common sight. But the COVID era requires vigilance. Avoid public crowds, parties, and large gatherings that only increase the chances of infection.

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– Follow COVID Safety Guidelines

There’s always the lure of celebrating festivities in full swing with your family and friends. However, a slack in safety measures can only cause trouble to you and your loved ones. So continue following the COVID safety guidelines even during Holi.

Sanitise your hands regularly and wear masks if stepping out of your home. If you have a cold, fatigue, or slight fever, avoid any celebration. Stay away from people suffering from fever. Mainly, children and people with co-morbidities should avoid participating in Holi celebrations this year.

– Step Back from Traditions

Holi is all about drenching your loved ones in vibrant colours. The traditional festival involves playful fun with people applying colours on each other’s faces and bodies. This year, you should step back from the traditions. While playing Holi, do not apply colour on people’s faces, especially the nose, mouth, and eye areas. Ensure contactless Holi by just throwing colours on each other while maintaining social distance.

– Play Holi With the Good Old Pichkari

Pichkari (water gun) is ideal for a contactless Holi. You can spray colours on people while maintaining social distance. If you are in Varanasi, make sure you buy the ‘anti-corona Pichkari,’ a great innovation by a student from the Ashoka Institute of Technology and Management.

This unique water gun has sensors that get activated when someone comes closer to the water gun. The sensors trigger the water gun to spurt out coloured water on the person. Thus, the ‘anti-corona Pichkari’ can be placed on the roof in front of your house, and you can splash colours on someone without coming in close contact.

– Host a Virtual Holi party

You may have family and friends who cannot be physically present with you. Thanks to technology, that has brought our world closer. You can host an online Holi party for your loved ones far away. Try a theme for your virtual party, or keep a Holi dress code. Together, everyone can share a meal seated in front of their screens and play virtual games to keep the spirit alive. With this, you are sure to not miss out on the fun with your favourite people.

 In Conclusion

Remember that while the vaccination drive is active, we are far from herd immunity. We haven’t overcome the coronavirus pandemic. The wisest decision would be to be patient this year and stay away from crowded places during festivities. The best way to celebrate contactless Holi would be to stay at home, spend quality time with your loved ones, and indulge yourself with delicious dishes.

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