Celebration Powder FAQ

Q:        How can you estimate how much PurColour Celebration Powder you will need?

A:         We typically suggest 1/2 lb. celebration powder per participant.  If you would like to have a choreographed group toss, allocate ½ cup (approximately75 grams) per bag.  One pound of celebration powder will make 6 individual 75 gram bags

Q:        Should I use PurColour Celebration Powder indoors or outdoors?

A:        We recommend outdoor usage only in well ventilated areas .  This is due to the dust and cleanup factor.

Q:        Does PurColour Celebration Powder stain?

A:         PurColour Celebration Powder can stain cloths and the skin.  Typical machine washing, with stain remover, removes the stains.  We recommend ‘blow out’ stations, (ie leaf blower stations) where the participants can get excess powder blown off before they leave the event.  Removal of excess powder is recommended before applying any water. Normal liquid dish detergent and/or de-greaser will remove PurColour Celebration Powder from paved areas. Power washers also assist in the removal of powder from paved areas.

Q:        Is PurColur Celebration Powder environmental friendly?

A:         PurColour Celebration Powder is made from cornstarch and FD&C colorants.  It can be easily washed or blown from event areas.  Other gulal/holi made from non FD&C colorants may impact the environment.

Q:         Are there any unusual fire & explosion hazards with Celebration Powder?

A:         Like all organic and most dry chemicals, as a powder or dust, this product (when mixed with air in critical proportions and in the presence of an ignition source) may present an explosion hazard.  The minimum ignition temperature reported for dry cornstarch, through 200 mesh, is 380°C (716°F).  Avoid open lights, flames, smoking materials, hot coals of any type or welding in area of product. Not recommended for indoor usage. Outdoor usage in well ventilated open space.

Q:        What is the most appropriate fire extinguisher media to have on hand at events or to extinguisher solid material or air borne dust?

A:      Water spray, foam and dry chemical.  Use of water jet many cause explosive dust conditions.  Do not use CO2 (carbon dioxide fire extinguishers) for outdoor dust fires.   CO2 fire extinguishers are ineffective at extinguishing outdoor dust fires because they may not be able to displace enough oxygen to successfully put the fire out and they can cause the dust to spread, smolder and re-ignite.

Q:        Are there any measures to control the dust created from Celebration Powder?

A:      The use of misters is a highly effective method for reducing dust while also creating an open air cooling effect for outdoor events.  Misters can be purchased at most big box stores or larger portable systems are available as rental items. 

Misters reduce dust in the air by trapping dust in water particles and causing it to fall out of the air.  

Below are links to mister rentals and purchase sites.




Q:        What about the use of Cryo Jets (C02) for cooling outdoor events?

A:      We do NOT recommend the use of Cryo Jets at events that use Celebration Powder or AfterDark/Neon.   Special effects should only be carried out by trained individuals. 

Q:        Can we request a custom color?

A:         We can create most custom colors.  A sample color swatch can be emailed and we can make a sample color for your approval.

Q:        I have seen other color runs, and their colors appear to be more vibrant.  Why is PurColour Celebration Powder less vibrant?

A:         The majority of gulal and holi powders are made in India.  India has a rich history and strong customs focusing on vibrant colors.  Many colors represent religious holidays and celebrations.   In general, India prefers dark and deep pigments.  At PurColour, we fundamentally do not believe in the excess usage of synthetic colors.  

Q:        Should I be concerned using gulal/holi imported from India?

A:        Holi and Gulal are exported from India using HS Code 3213.  Harmonized System Code is an international system used to classify product and is also used for taxation.  HS Code 3213 is defined below.


Keep in mind, gulal and holi are not regulated items. The manufacture can use any industrial pigment to color gulal/holi.  They are not required to use certified FD&C colorants or non-certified FD&C colorants.  This is how India can produce low cost holi/gulal.

Q:        I have seen other color runs, and their colors appear to be more vibrant.  Why is PurColour Celebration Powder less vibrant?

At PurColour, we fundamentally do not believe in the excess usage of synthetic colors.  

Q:        What does FD&C stand for?

A:         FD&C stands for Food, Drugs and Cosmetics.  The only colors used in PurColour Celebration Powder are approved by US FDA for food consumption, drug and external cosmetics.

Q:        How can I be sure the gulal/holi I purchase uses FDA certified colorants?

  • Do not confuse certified colors with their uncertified counterparts. For example, FD&C Yellow No. 5 is the certified form of tartrazine, and is approved for use in food, drugs and cosmetics- generally. But tartrazine, which has not undergone FDA analysis and received FDA certification, must not be substituted for or identified in an ingredient declaration as FD&C Yellow No. 5.
  • Do not confuse certified colors with colors identified only by a Colour Index (CI) number, or by the E number sometimes used in European color identification. 

Q:        What is the major difference between how the USA FDA and India view food colorant additives?


A:         Both view food colorant as a food additive.  In the US, FDA mandates that each color be certified and placed on the ingredient list of food, drugs and cosmetics. 

The following is an excerpt  from the MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE Food Safety and Standards Authority of India;  “extraneous addition of colouring matter to be mentioned on the label – Where an extraneous colouring matter has been added to any article of food, there shall be displayed one of the following: statements in capital letters, just beneath the list of the ingredients on the label attached to any package of food so coloured, namely:





Provided that where such a statement is displayed along with the name or INS no of the food colour, the colour used in the product need not be mentioned in the list of ingredients.”

Q:        What is food safe colorant or edible grade colorant?

A:         Food safe colorant and edible grade are vague phrases used to imply safe for human consumption. Please beware the USA FDA does not consider several food colorants as safe.  There are no worldwide standards in place.  Each country has their own standards.  What is acceptable in one country, may not be acceptable in another country. 

Below is a link to the FDA website: Summary of Color Additives for Use in the United States in Foods, Drugs, Cosmetics, and Medical Devices


Q:        Is Gulal/Holi regulated?

A:         No. Gulal/Holi is not considered a food item or cosmetic.  Imported item are classified as PAINT.

Q:       Are there any FD&C colorants that are fluorescent or glow in the dark?

A:         There are NO fluorescent or glow in the dark color additives approved for FOOD usage.  However, there are colorants approved for cosmetic usage.

Fluorescent colors: Only the following fluorescent colors are approved for use in cosmetics, and there are limits on their intended uses: D&C Orange No. 5, No. 10, and No. 11; and D&C Red No. 21, No. 22, No. 27, and No. 28 [21 CFR 74.2254, 74.2260, 74.2261, 74.2321, 74.2322, 74.2327, and 74.2328].

Below is a link to the FDA standards and usage restrictions.


Glow-in-the-dark colors: Luminescent zinc sulfide is the only approved glow-in-the-dark color additive (cosmetics) [21 CFR 73.2995] and there are limits and restrictions to use.

Below is a link to the FDA standards and usage restrictions.


Q:       Will PurColour produce fluorescent or glow in the dark gulal?

A:         PurColour now offers AfterDark.  AfterDark is Celebration Powder that fluoresces (glows) under ultra violet lighting.  Under normal daylight, AfterDark colors are neon.    AfterDark is made using non-toxic pigments.   AfterDark is not made with FD&C colorants and is not considered a food item.  PurColour recommends the use of sun glasses or goggles during usage.

AfterDark is intended for use only on limited, infrequent occasions and not for regular or daily use.

Q:       I have seen photos of glow in the dark gulal?  How is this possible?

A:         Since gulal/holi is technically not a food or cosmetic some manufactures add industrial pigments, which are intended for paints and other manufactured items.  

Q:       Do you have any suggestions on how to make safe glow in the dark color celebrations?

A:         Ordinary tonic water contains quinine. Quinine is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the bark of the cinchona tree, which is grown in the tropical forests of South America.  Quinine was originally used to treat malaria.  It is no longer used for the treatment of malaria.  Quinine has a very unique property; it glows in the dark.  Since tonic water contains quinine, it also glows in the dark (under UV lighting).

If you would like a unique color celebration, color ordinary tonic water with food coloring and fill super soaker water guns.  Use indoors or outdoors under UV lighting and you will have glow in the dark color event.


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