Holi is one of my favourite festivals since Bollywood has played a huge role in romanticising it. The vibrant colours, fun, food and general merriment make me love this day. The festival heralds the onset of spring and sometimes, from that day or a few days before, the cuckoo starts cooing, flowers bloom, and the weather still seems pleasant. If you feel the same way, here are a few ways to enjoy a safe and fun Holi.Keep Yourself HydratedStart drinking enough water. Water will also help reduce allergic flareups. On the day of Holi, drink more water, especially if you are indulging in alcohol. Have a sip or two of water in between your sips of alcohol. Be careful of having thandai in case you are sceptical of the contents. To stir up this quintessential Holi drink, though, soak poppy seeds overnight and then make a paste with pistachios, cashews, raisins, saffron and sugar. You can skip the sugar and add some rose or khus syrup, or strawberry slush. Churn it in a blender with double-toned milk. To make it lighter, use curd in place of milk. This is a nutritious and delicious drink, and the poppy seeds make you happy and sleepy. You can also add any white spirit to the concoction.Make A First-Aid BoxDr Chiranjiv Chhabra says, Many of us are prone to allergies and if you are allergic to dust, speak to your doctor and consider taking an antihistamine an hour before playing with colours. I do this every time as I am prone to dust allergy and have sensitive skin. Along with it, I drink plenty of water and light sherbets. Avoid aerated drinks, if possible. Dr Chhabra also suggests that we keep saline drops handy that can immediately be used, in case colours go into your eyes. Keep a bottle of Bach Flower Rescue Remedy mix, in case of emergency situations -- just about four drops can help in case of a sudden allergic inflammation.Make Moisturiser Your Best FriendMumbai-based dermatologist, Dr Jaishree Sharad, advises, Apply a thick moisturiser prior to playing Holi to all exposed parts of your body. It acts as a barrier against the harmful effects of colour. I generally use coconut oil or a heavy cream like Boroline. In fact, I first apply a hydrating toner, then coconut oil and finally a heavy moisturiser all over my body. Apply water-proof sunscreen on all exposed parts of your body, too, advises Dr Sharad. Use lip balm before stepping out to play.Apply oil on your hair and scalp before stepping out to play, to counter the effects of harmful colours. Post playing Holi, first dust off the dry colour before going in for a shower. Use coconut oil to massage your skin and take off the colour. Follow this up with one or two washes with soap and shampoo. If the colours are stubborn, then Dr Chhabra advises using warm milk on the scalp and then washing it off after a few minutes. She also recommends glycerine-based soaps Pears Glycerine soap is my all-time favourite. If your skin is sensitive, then use the original Mysore Sandalwood Soap. Follow up with a heavy moisturiser. For your hair, use a damage-repair shampoo.Remember to switch on the geyser 10-15 minutes prior to your shower. Opt for lukewarm water as extremely hot water can dry out your skin. Slather your fingers, toes and nails with petroleum jelly like Vaseline, so that they dont catch stains. To moisturise your body, try a mix of aloe vera gel mixed with a few drops of lavender, lemon and tea tree essential oils to keep your skin calm and nourished. Lemon and tea tree oils help in cleansing and keeping infections at bay. In case, you have rashes, red patches, itching, inflammation or fever, consult your doctor at your earliest and keep drinking Electral water.Dress WellWhen I think of Holi, my mind paints a picture of women dressed in white chikankari salwar suits paired with bright bandhej dupattas. Again, of course, Bollywood is to be credited for this statement dressing. While it looks awesome, dont forget this is the worst choice of attire for the occasion. White cotton will be ruined. A synthetic fabric is far easier to clean. My point is, you dont need to wear rags, but be wise and wear clothes that can be easily cleaned, and of course, choose an outfit that covers most of your body. Keep the white ensemble and bandhej duppattas for the post-Holi evening party.Ensure you wear your sunglasses, as those will prevent the colour from entering your eyes, while also looking super cool. Choose colourful hues and make that your fashion statement. Wear makeup a layer of foundation, sunscreen and a bright lipstick. The makeup will also work as a protective shield. Wear nail paints in dark hues, as they will protect the nails from getting stained with stubborn colours.Cover your head with a scarf or bandana to protect your hair from colour. It looks smart and fun, while also shielding your tresses. Be careful with the jewellery you wear. Avoid rings and bangles that have ridges where colour can get caught. Instead, wear floral headbands, wrist bands and garlands that look bright and pretty. Glass bangles add a zing to your look.Eat RightNo, I am not asking you to abstain from sweets and chaats, but eat in moderation. If you are entertaining guests for Holi lunch, then here are some must-haves in your menu. The lip-smacking chaats like papri chaat, dahi vada, aloo tikki, gol gappa and either chhole bhature or poori and aloo bhaji should definitely be a part of your spread. For dessert, the obvious choices are gujiya, barfi, phirni and rasmalai are great, but you can also serve custard, jelly, cream, nuts, seeds and fruits, which the guests can mix and take as per their liking. Ice lollies are also a great inclusion.In place of plain water, keep jugs full of water infused with lemon, cucumber and basil. You can freeze ice with small edible flowers, herbs and/or small pieces of fruits. These look dainty and add a subtle flavour to the water. Additionally, you can offer beverages like thandai, lassi, cold coffee and ice tea. If you wish to avoid alcohol, then opt for non-alcoholic beers, gins and wines. The meal will spike sugar levels and cause dehydration and inflammation, hence limit your sugar intake, and top up with sugarless fluids.Decorate your table with fresh flowers and bright tablecloths. I prefer to add Indian flowers like mogra, desi gulab and genda. These fresh blooms brighten the space and infuse it with fragrance. As for cutlery, opt for biodegradable plates, bowls, tumblers, spoons and forks. For dinner, go with a light meal that can include a salad, cold soup, some bread, flavoured butter and fruits.Create A Holi PlaylistHoli is not Holi without the popular Bollywood songs. Create a playlist with the must-have numbers like Rang Barse, Balam Pichkari, Holi Ke Din, Holi Khele Raghbira and so on. These playlists are easily available in apps like Gaana, Wynk and so on. The songs set the mood for the party, while adding a dash of nostalgia. In the evening, screening a classic film like Silsila will have your guests christening you the best host ever.Get The Best ColoursWhy are the colours sold during Holi bad for our skin? Dr Sharad explains, The black paste that you buy has lead oxide, green colours have copper sulphate, and red has mercury sulphate. The shimmers in these colours are made from mica and powdered glass, which are meant for industrial use. All these coarse and harsh ingredients can cause skin irritation.Hence, it is a no-brainer that they should be strictly avoided. I use flower powders like that of rose, hibiscus and blue pea, sandalwood powder and turmeric powder. In fact, I use fresh flowers in place of colours. You can also make colours by soaking rose petals in water and mixing it with cornflour. The mixture can be powdered, and sun-dried or dried in the microwave. However, to make life easier, buy organic colours online or from your local market. Over the last few years, several brands that sell organic colours have emerged. They include Phool, My Pooja Box, Nirmalaya, Antarkranti, Organic India and Nat Habit. These colours are safe, gentle, and most of them have a mild, natural fragrance.Armed with these tips and suggestions, go out and sing Holi Hai!