Holika Dahan also known as ‘Choti Holi’ is a significant festival of Hindus celebrated all over India with great pomp and show. It is observed a day before the colourful festival of Holi that celebrates the death of the demoness named ‘Holika’ with the help of Lord Vishnu. The Holi festival is celebrated on the ‘Poornima’ or the full moon day during the Hindu month of ‘Phalgun’, and so Holika Dahan is observed on the previous night. It corresponds to the month of February-March in the Gregorian calendar. As per the Hindu scriptures, Holika Dahan should be performed during the ‘Pradosh Kaal’ (the period just after sunset) while the Purnimasi Tithi prevails. Bhadra (inauspicious time) prevails in the first half of this Tithi; therefore any propitious work should be avoided during the Bhadra.

Holika Dahan is an important ritual that is observed along the length and breadth of India. Holi is a two-day festival of Hindus and the eve of Holi is popularly called as ‘Holika Dahan’. In some parts of India it is also known as ‘Holika’ or ‘Kamadu Pyre’. Holi is one of those festivals that defies all religious discriminations. Despite being an important Hindu festival, it is celebrated by other communities and regions. The festival of Holi is marked with plenty of colors, fun and frolic and promotes the message of brotherhood and equality.

Holika Dahan 2017 was on March 12 Sunday

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Holika Dahan

Holika Dahan

Rituals of Holika Dahan:

  • The preparation for Holika Dahan starts days before the actual festival. People start collecting wood and other combustible material for lighting bonfire near temples, in parks or other open spaces.
  • A day before the Phalgun Poornima, people observe Holika Dahan. The Holika Puja is performed during evening on an auspicious time. Normally people perform the puja at their homes while in some places the puja is performed at the site of Holika Dahan.
  • A log of wood is placed at a known public place on the day of Basant Panchami. From then onwards, people enlarge this log centre with dried leaves, branches, twigs or any combustible material.
  • On the auspicious day of Holika Dahan, an effigy of Prahlad and Holika are placed on the top of the heap of woods. The effigy of Prahlad is made from non-combustible material while Holika’s effigy is made from combustible material.
  • At the appropriate time or ‘Muhurt’ the heap of woods is set afire and devotees chant the ‘Rakshoghna Mantras’ mentioned in the Rig Vedas to cast off all the evil spirits. The burning of Holika is symbolic of the triumph of good over evil. People dance and sing around the fire and also perform ‘Parikrama’ around the bonfire. In some places, “jau’ is roasted in the fire of Holika and people take it back home as a symbol of good luck and fortune. It is also believed that by worshipping Holika Dahan all the diseases and negative energies in their families will be eradicated.
  • In some parts of Northern India, there is a ritual observed by married women in the afternoon, just before Holika Dahan. Women observe fast until finishing the puja in the evening. They take a bath in the afternoon and prepare a puja thali containing roli, chawal, haldi, 5 cow dung uple tied together and moli (red colored thread). Before the Holika Dahan, women perform a puja known as ‘Thandi Holi’ for the welfare of their families. By making the various offerings to Holika they seek blessings from Lord Vishnu to bring happiness and prosperity in their lives. The fast is broken after puja by enjoying the delicious spread of meal along with family members.
  • On the next day, that is, the day of Holi, the remaining ash is collected by people. These leftover ashes are considered sacred and applied on the forehead or limbs as ‘Holi Prasad’. Smearing of limbs with this ash is believed to be an act of purification.

Important Timings On Holika Dahan

Sunrise12-Mar-2017 18:31 PM
Sunset12-Mar-2017 18:31 PM
Purnima Tithi Begins11-Mar-2017 20:23 PM
Purnima Tithi Ends12-Mar-2017 20:23 PM
Holika Dahan Muhurta 18:31 PM - 20:57 PM
Bhadra Mukha Time 05:23 AM - 07:23 AM
Bhadra Punchha Time 04:11 AM - 05:23 AM
Place : Ujjain [ India ] Time Zone : IST (+05:30)

As per the Hindu scriptures, the story of Holika Dahan commemorates the victory of good over evil. On this day people worship Lord Vishnu to seek His blessings for eradicating all the evils from their life and take the righteous path. The puja of

Holika Dahan festival dates between 2014 & 2024

YearDate
2014Sunday, 16th of March
2015Thursday, 5th of March
2016Wednesday, 23rd of March
2017Sunday, 12th of March
2018Thursday, 1st of March
2019Wednesday, 20th of March
2020Monday, 9th of March
2021Sunday, 28th of March
2022Thursday, 17th of March
2023Tuesday, 7th of March
2024Sunday, 24th of March
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