New Delhi: The auspicious occasion of Holi is here and the preparations can be seen all around. The festive fervour has gripped the nation as vibrant hues dominate the whole atmosphere.
Holi will be celebrated on March 21 this year and Holika Dahan (which happens a day before the actual festival is celebrated) will be marked on March 20.
According to drikpanchang.com, here are the Holika Dahan timings:
Holika Dahan Muhurta = 20:58 to 24:28
Duration = 3 Hours 30 Mins
Bhadra Punchha = 17:24 to 18:25
Bhadra Mukha = 18:25 to 20:07
Rang wali Holi on March 21
Purnima Tithi Begins = 10:44 on 20/Mar/2019
Purnima Tithi Ends = 07:12 on 21/Mar/2019
Holi, also known as Dhulandi is marked on the day after Holika Dahan. It's when people play with colours and usher in the celebrations.
What is Holika Dahan?
Holika Dahan, as per Hindu Lunar calendar concurs with the full moon day in the month of Phalguna, a day which is also known as Phalguna Purnima. A day prior to the Rangwali Holi when people use colours to play with each other, Holika Dahan takes place.
On the eve of Holi, people pray to the almighty and perform the Holika Dahan ritual. A bonfire is organised to mark the victory of good over evil. The Dahan is performed during the Pradosh Kaal (post sunset) while Purnimasi Tithi prevails.
The legend behind Holika Dahan:
The legend has it that a young boy named Prahlada was a devout Lord Vishnu bhakta. His father Hiranyakashyapu seeing his son's utmost devotion towards Lord Vishnu feels jealous and orders his sister Holika to kill Prahalada. The young boy prays to the lord, who annihilates the powers of his aunt Holika, in his magnanimous Narasimha avatar.
The Lord Vishnu not only saves bhakt Prahalada but also kills the ruthless ruler and his father Hiranynakashyapu and Holika. From that day onwards, the Holika Dahan puja is dedicated to Lord Vishnu's Narasimha avatar.
In this avatar, the Lord appears as half-man and half-lion. He took this unusual form to end all atrocities committed by the greedy Hiranyakashyapu.
During Holika Dahan puja, devotees offer water, turmeric, coconut to the bonfire and seek blessings for a joyous life (the offerings may vary from region to region).
Here's wishing our readers a happy and safe Holi!