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Holika Dahan 2019: Know the History, Significance & Important Puja Timings

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo
Holika Dahan
Holika Dahan

Holika Dahan also is known as ‘Choti Holi’ is an important festival of Hindus that is celebrated a day before the colorful festival of Holi all over India with a lot of love and happiness. Holika Dahan commemorates the death of the demoness called ‘Holika’. This ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil.

As Holi is celebrated on the full moon day or Poornima during the Hindu ‘Phalgun’ month hence Holika Dahan is observed on the previous evening. According to the Hindu scriptures, Holika Dahan must be performed during the ‘Pradosh Kaal’ i.e. the period just after sunset as the Purnimasi Tithi prevails. The Bhadra prevails in the 1st half of this Tithi thus any auspicious task should be avoided during the Bhadra.

The Story of Holika & Prahlad

The legend of Holika, Prahlad and Hiranyakashyap are associated with this festival. According to the tale, an evil emperor Hiranyakashyap had a son named Prahlad, who was a fervent devotee of Lord Vishnu. But his wicked father did not like that and he wanted him to relinquish his faith in Lord Vishnu and stop worshiping him. But when Prahlad refused to do so, the emperor tried to kill him. Hiranyakashyap had a sister named Holika who had a heavenly blessing which made her immune to fire. So the king made Prahlad sit in Holika's lap and then set the two on the blaze. But with the blessings of Lord Vishnu, Prahlad, who kept reciting his name, was safe and unharmed. On the other hand, Holika got burnt and the fire did not save her this time. It is believed that the boon was applicable only if she sits alone in the fire.  And with this fable, the tradition of Holika Dahan came into practice signifying the victory of good over evil.

How Holika Dahan is celebrated?

  • Preparations for Holika Dahan begin days before the actual celebration. People start accumulating wood and other combustible material for lighting beacon near the temples, in parks or open spaces. Generally, people do the puja at homes but in some places, the puja is performed at the place of Holika Dahan.

  • A log of wood is placed at a known place on the Basant Panchami festival. And from that day onwards, people enlarge this log with small wood branches, dried leaves, twigs or combustible materials.

Holi
Holi Pyre
  • On the day of Holika Dahan, an effigy of Holika and Prahlad are placed on the top of the pile of woods. Usually, the effigy of Prahlad is made from a non-combustible material and Holika’s effigy is made from combustible material. At the Muhurat, the stack of woods is set a fire and people recite ‘Rakshoghna Mantras’ mentioned in the Rig Vedas.

  • In some places, barley or jau is roasted in the Holika fire and people take it back home for good luck and fortune. It is also thought that by worshipping Holika Dahan all the diseases and negative energies in the family get eradicated.

Holika Dahan Timings 2021 

This year special yoga is being built on Holi, due to which the importance of Holi is increasing. Holi is celebrated every year on the Pratipada date of the Krishna Paksha of Phalgun month. This year, Dhruv Yoga is being built on the day of Holi.

  • Shubh Muhurta- Phalgun Purnima 2021

  • Purnima Date Start- March 28, 2021 at 03:27

  • Purnima Date ends- March 29, 2021 at 00:17

  • Holika Dahan Muhurta- 18:37 to 20:56

  • Duration- 02 hours 20 minutes

Wishing you all a very Happy Holi !!

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