Holika Dahan (Hindi: होलिका दहन, Gujarati:હોલિકા દહન) 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.

Holika Dahan 2023 was on March 07, Tuesday

Holi 2023 was celebrated on March 08, Wednesday

Image Source: IANS

The Holika Dahan is celebrated on the Purnima or the full moon day during the Hindu month of Phalgun, and Holi is observed on the next day, Chaitra Krishna Paksha Pratipada. It corresponds to the month of February-March in the Gregorian calendar.

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 Time

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.

2023 Holika Dahan Muhurat, Tithi & Bhadra Timing

Sunrise07 March, 2023 06:47 AM.
Sunset07 March, 2023 06:28 PM.
Purnima Tithi Begins06 March, 2023 04:17 PM.
Purnima Tithi Ends07 March, 2023 06:10 PM.
Holika Dahan MuhurtaMarch 07, 06:28 PM - March 07, 08:56 PM
Bhadra Punchha TimeMarch 07, 12:42 AM - March 07, 02:00 AM
Bhadra Mukha TimeMarch 07, 02:00 AM - March 07, 04:09 AM
Place : Ujjain [ India ] See More
Image Source: IANS

Holika Dahan: The Story of Prahlad, Hiranyakashipu and Holika

The story of Holika Dahan starts with the tale of the mighty demon king Hiranyakashipu who was granted a boon by Brahma that made him immortal, invulnerable to weapons and illnesses, and the power to take any form of his choice - powers that made him invincible.

Hiranyakashipu was so powerful that everyone had to worship him as God. But, his son Prahlad, a devotee of Lord Vishnu, refused to worship his father as a God. Hiranyakashipu tried several times to make Prahlad see his greatness but failed each time.

Fed up with his Prahlad's stubbornness, Hiranyakashipu asked his sister Holika - who had acquired the power to remain unscathed by fire as a boon from Brahma, for help. Hiranyakashipu asked Holika to sit in a fire with Prahlad in her lap so that Prahlad would be killed in the fire. But, to everyone's surprise, when Holika and Prahlad entered the fire, Holika was the one who got burnt while Prahlad remained unscathed. This incident proved that Lord Vishnu was on Prahlad's side.

Holika Dahan commemorates this victory of good over evil, as Prahlad's devotion to Lord Vishnu helped him survive the fire while Holika was consumed by it.

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.

Holika dahan images Image Source: IANS

People participate in Holika Dahan - burning of the devil, on the eve Holi

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.

Holi Specials: Misc Pics on Holi Fun. Take a Look!

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.

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 2020 & 2030

2020Monday, 9th of March
2021Sunday, 28th of March
2022Thursday, 17th of March
2023Tuesday, 7th of March
2024Sunday, 24th of March
2025Thursday, 13th of March
2026Tuesday, 3rd of March
2027Sunday, 21st of March
2028Friday, 10th of March
2029Wednesday, 28th of February
2030Tuesday, 19th of March

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