When is Rang Panchami?

Rang Panchami traditionally arrives on the fifth day after Holi. Astrologically speaking, it comes on the fifth day (Panchami) in the Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the Moon) during the month of Phalgun.

The 2022 Rang Panchami is on Tuesday, March 22.

It is celebrated with as much fervour as Holi itself in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and various other parts of North India.

The celebration during Rang Panchami is similar to that of Holi in that people douse each other with coloured water and apply colours to each other. The literal meaning of Rang Panchami is the fifth day of colour. So, it too is a festival of colour just like Holi.

However, there is an additional significance. As part of Holika Dahan, which ushers in the festival of Holi, numerous pyres made from leftover farm materials are burnt. Their fumes are supposed to get rid of the Rajas and Tamas Gunas that is, aggression and laziness, respectively, from the air. On the fifth day after Holika Dahan, the air is at its best form and Rang Panchami is a celebration of this.

What is the difference between Holi and Rang Panchami?

It is very easy to get confused between Holi and Rang Panchami. Both are celebrated fairly at the same time and fairly in the same manner. But there are differences. While Holi stands as an individual festival, Rang Panchami is more a sequel to Holika Dahan. The burning of effigies and pyres symbolizing Holika Dahan is considered to purify the air of rajas and tamas gunas. It is on the fifth day after Holika Dahan that air is at its purest. Rang Panchami is a celebration of that. The positive vibe that fills the air at this time is believed to activate the various deities who are represented in the form of colours. Hence the prominence of Rang or Color during celebrations.

In Indore, Madhya Pradesh, a water tanker with high-pressure canons goes around the city, drenching the thousands who gather on the street in the coloured water. In Maharashtra, Holi is celebrated during Rang Panchami, and the festival is especially popular among the fisherfolk who revel in the festivities with singing and dancing. Rang Panchami is also a huge affair in temples of Vrindavan and Mathura as Lord Krishna and Radha are worshipped during this day.

Temples in Delhi and Bihar also celebrate Rang Panchami with much enthusiasm. It invokes the Panch Tatva, or the five elements that make up the universe and the human body. Rang Panchami symbolizes finding the balance between man and nature. With rajas and tamas gunas out of the way, it is an invitation for divine energies to bless people with hope and prosperity.

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Which colour is the most harmful used in Rang Panchami?

Dark colours like red, black and green may contain high levels of chemicals which can cause conditions to the skin. The use of artificial colours is still prevalent during Rang Panchami celebrations. As per health experts, there has been a notable rise in the cases of skin diseases and allergies in the weeks following Holi and Rang Panchami. While most of such problems tend to remain cosmetic, they can lead to serious effects like cancer in extreme cases.

Bright colours such as black, green, silver, blue and red are made from industrial chemicals. Sometimes mica dust and glass particles are added to give them an extra shine. Such colours are hard to come off even after repeated washing. Itching, drying of the skin, and eczema are some of the side effects caused by such colours. It can get quite serious for those already carrying skin diseases. They can enter the body through open wounds. Breathlessness and cyanosis are adverse effects. Eyesight may be harmed if such colours get into the eye. Loss of hair is another risk.

Take adequate precautions before celebrating Rang Panchami with colours. Use colours made from natural sources. Apply oil on your body, especially in regions behind the ear, between fingers and around fingernails, before taking part in celebrations. Protect your eye by wearing glasses. After festivities, stand under running water and wash the colours off. If they do not come off easily, do not resort to aggressive scratching. Use soap, or apply a mixture of lemon juice, curd and sandalwood. Consult a doctor if discolourations, itchings, swellings or any other oddities persist even after a few days.

What type of colour will you use to celebrate eco-friendly Rang Panchami? Why?

One should use natural colours to ensure an eco-friendly Rang Panchami. Natural colours are those made from natural ingredients which do not harm the skin or cause any diseases. They also do not harm nature in any way when they percolate into the ecosystem through soil and groundwater. Nowadays, the use of dried colours is recommended. Droughts in recent years have seen civic bodies urge people to refrain from wasting water in celebrations.

What is the significance of Rang Panchami?

Colours are very important in the lives of people. Colours can be a source of pleasure. It can frighten you or make you secure. Colours mean different things to different people. Gazing out of the window to see lush greenery spread around in the world can enliven spirits and fill you with hope and gratitude. An overindulgence of colour like brown can make you tired. Intense colours like red can make you feel scared. Surrounding yourself with the right mix of colours can go a long way in making life on Earth enjoyable and rewarding.

In Vedic colours, each planet represents certain energy as well as a colour. For Sun, the colour is a mix of orange and red. Mercury is green, Jupiter is orange-yellow, Venus is white with a mix of indigo, Saturn is black, so is Rahu, while Ketu is given the colour brown. Moon is white, and Mars is red. Most Hindu festivals have a particular colour associated with them. The same goes for gods and goddesses as well. In a psychological sense, certain colours can trigger certain emotions in a person. So, celebrating colours is very important both for the psyche and emotion of a person. This is where the importance of festivals like Holi and Rang Panchami lies.

Importance of Panchami

Panchami is an important tithi. It is ruled by Guru or Jupiter. Moon is the deity worshipped. Panchami, or the fifth Lunar day, can awaken new hope and enthusiasm in a person. It instils curiosity and a sense of romance in them. There can also be indecisiveness, over-optimism and a lack of focus. Overcoming distracting energies can lead to a world of good for the person. That is why celebrating Rang Panchami is important as it is the day when the rajas and tamas gunas are temporarily eliminated from the air.

In other words, Rang Panchami represents the best among Panchami tithis in the Vedic calendar. Vahni Vasini is the goddess of Panchami tithi. She symbolizes the creative fire of this day and also the drive and desires. This is a favourable day to administer medicine and start an important business. Some of the major Hindu festivals fall on Panchami tithis like Basant Panchami and Nag Panchami, besides Rang Panchami.

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