Holika Dahan is on March 28. An essential part of Holi festivities, Holika Dahan signifies the victory of good over evil. Large public celebrations ofHolika Dahan are usually planned in communities but this year due to the surge in Covid infections, both the centre and state governments, have put in place strict restrictions. No large public Holi celebations have been allowed. People can however hold small neighbourhood Holika Dahan bonfires and it is best to follow the Covid guidelines and be safe.
Holi is celebrated on the Full Moon day in the month of Phalgun according to the Hindu calendar. It marks the arrival of vibrant spring season and hence is also called Vasant Utsav. In some states like Odisha and West Bengal, Holi is known as Dol Jatra or Dol Purnima.
Why is Holika Dahan celebrated
Holika Dahan marks the the victory of good over evil. According to legends, Hiranyakashyap - a demon god had become very powerful and no one could overpower him. His son Prahlad was an ardent follower of Lord Vishnu and Hiranyakashyap had stopped him from worshipping the god. He had attempted to kill his son Prahlada by making him sit on a burning pyre with his aunt Holika, who had a boon that prevented her from being harmed. Prahlada chanted Lord Vishnu's name and Holika was burnt but no harm came to him.
What do people do on Holika Dahan
During Holika Dahan, traditionally people gather around a bonfire. The bonfire is lit after the sun sets and religious rituals are performed around it. People also sing folklores and share Holika Dahan legends.
When should the Holika Dahan bonfire be lit
The Holika Dahan muhurta or time this year is from 6:37 PM to 8:56 PM on March 28.
Items you need for Holika Dahan ritual
For Holika Dahan puja you will need a bowl of water, Roli, unbroken rice grains or Akshat, insense sticks, flowers, raw cotton thread, turmeric pieces, unbroken moong daal, batasha (sugar or gur candy), coconut and gulal.
How to perform Holika Dahan rituals
The cotton thread is wrapped around the Holika, going around it seven or three times. After that, the water of and all other samagri (items) are dedicated to Holika one by one. Rice and flowers are used why saying the mantras. The bonfire is lit after the rituals are over.
Wishing you a safe and Happy Holika Dahan.