The festival of colors, Holi marks the beginning of the spring season and is celebrated with much fun and fervor by Hindus across India and the world. This bright and lively festival commemorates the triumph of good over evil that was brought by burning and destructing the demoness called Holika by the young Prahlad, a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu. Considered to be the most colorful festival, Holi is commemorated by throwing colors and colored powder on family members, friends and loved ones. Bonfires are lit a day before Holi to mark the annihilation of Holika. Colors are played and squirted on the next day using pichkaris. The Holi festival is also a commemoration of the end of the winter season and the start of the harvest period. Nonetheless, Holi is celebrated on a different date every year depending upon the appearance of the moon. Check out the date of Holi in the following lines.
Holi falls in the lunar month of Phalguna according to the Hindu calendar. This date corresponds in the months of February or March as per the Gregorian calendar. It is marked on the last full moon day (Phalgun Purnima). The festival of Holi is a celebration of unity and brotherhood wherein festivities are observed with high spirits irrespective of caste, creed, color, race, status or sex. The main day of the festival is known as Holi, also referred to as Dhuli Vandana in Sanskrit, or Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi. This is observed by throwing and smearing colored powder on one another. The day before Holi is known as Holika Dahan, or Chhoti Holi, which means ‘burning of Holika'. This takes places on the night before Holi.
This is marked by lighting bonfires signifying the destruction of the demoness Holika. The demon-king Hiranyakashipu asked his sister Holika to carry his young son Prahlad in a blazing fire to end Prahlad's devotion towards Lord Vishnu. Holika had a boon to escape unburnt even from fire. However, this boon ended as soon as Holika entered the fire and burnt into ashes while Prahlad came out unharmed. Hence, people light bonfires to mark the victory of goodness over evil on Holika Dahan. The next day brings in a lot of fun play with colors. Red, green, blue, yellow, black, and silver, all mix up in the festivity of unity highlighting the essence of the occasion.
Holi 2018: Friday Mar 02
Holika Dahan will be celebrated on 1st March while Holi will be celebrated on 2nd March.