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Holika Dahan 2024 Date, Story and Significance

Traditions of Sanatan Dharma are as timeless as Dharma itself. It would be futile to date them. We do know that the festival of Holi was celebrated by Lord Krishna Himself in the Dwapar Yuga.

There are other stories connected with Holi which confirm it is indeed a timeless tradition. References to Holi can be found in various Puranas such as Narada Purana and Bhavishya Purana. Depictions of Holi scenes can be seen in numerous panels and carvings on the walls of ancient temples.

Holika Dahan

Holika Dahan is the ritual that precedes the festival of Holi. It signifies the victory of Good over Evil. This is the ritual where the demoness Holika who represents evil is symbolically burnt.

Large pyres of wood are made in open and common spaces like parks, fields, community centers and even on roads. An effigy of Demoness Holika is put atop the pyre which is set on fire.

Date and Timings For Holika Dahan 2024

Holika Dahan will take place on Sunday, March 24 this time. On March 25, we shall celebrate Rangotsav. This Holika Dahan day, Bhadra Yoga will be open until 10:28 p.m.

Holika Dahan 2024 Muhurat: March 24 from 7:19 PM to 9:38 PM

It is not appropriate to perform Holika Dahan during Bhadra, hence it will take place after 10:28 p.m. after Bhadra finishes.

Holika Dahan 2024 Puja Vidhi

Holika Dahan is being done at night. Before this, there is a tradition to worship Holika Mata. On this day, at sunrise, finish all work, take a bath and wear clean clothes. After this, we will go to the place of Holika Dahan.

First of all, offer some water to Holika along with flowers, garland, roli, akshat, wheat earrings, sugarcane and gram trees, moong dal and water. After this, light a ghee lamp, take raw cotton, smoke it around Holika and do 5 parikramas.

After this, pray for happiness and prosperity. At the time of Holika Dahan at night, offer Akshat while praying for happiness and prosperity.

Holika Dahan 2024 Date, Story and Significance

The Story of Bhakta Prahlad Hiranyakashipu and Holika

Hiranyakashipu was a demon king with great powers granted by Lord Brahma as a result of long and severe penance. Hiranyakashipu used these powers to terrorise heaven and earth.

Because of the boons granted by Lord Brahma, Hiranyakashipu could not be killed by a man or beast, in the day or at night, not inside a house or outside, not in the sky or on earth and not by any weapon.

He was invincible and the power went to his head. He went so far as to say that he should be worshipped instead of God. Accordingly, his subjects started worshipping him and rejected other Devas and God.

Prahlad was Hiranyakashipu’s son. Though born into the demon race, Prahlad was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu and refused to bow to his father Hiranyakashipu. This enraged the demon king and he even tried to kill his own son but failed each time.

Determined to kill Prahlad, Hiranyakashipu sent his evil sister Holika for that purpose. She caught Prahlad and sat down in a huge fire with the intent of burning him to death. Holika herself was protected by a special garment.

Bhakta Prahlad prayed in earnest to Lord Vishnu. Just then a gust of wind blew the protective garment off Holika and covered Prahlad. Holika burned to death and Prahlad emerged unharmed.

Some time later Lord Vishnu appeared in His Narasimha Avatar and killed Hiranyakashipu. By this act, Lord Vishnu made the world a much safer and better place.

Significance of Holika Dahan

On the evening before Holi, people gather wood and flammable items from wherever they can and assemble them in one place. Earlier Vedic mantras were chanted before lighting the pyre.

Ingredients used in Havans were tossed into the fire. Nowadays grains like Bajra (Millet) and Jowar (Sorghum) are used. People walk around the fire tossing in handfuls of Jowar.

They also break coconuts on the ground in front of the fire. After the fire is extinguished the ash that remains is taken and applied on foreheads. Holika Dahan is also known as Holika Deepak and Chhoti Holi in some parts of India.

The ritual is done during Pradosh Kaal which starts after sunset and while the Purnima (Full Moon) Tithi (Lunar Calendar Date) has started.

The eight days preceding Holi are considered highly inauspicious and no work is started on those days. The period is known as Holashtak. This unfavourable period also comes to an end and the festival of Colours (Holi) is celebrated with great enthusiasm the next morning across the country marking the beginning of good days.

Holika Dahan around the World

The ritual of Holika Dahan and the festival of Holi is not restricted to India. It is celebrated wherever people of Indian origin are settled. People celebrate in the same way as they would have in India.

The ritual of Holika Dahan is observed faithfully. Among the places outside India where this is done include the USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Guyana, Mauritius, Nepal, South Africa, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago, Surinam, Singapore and more.

Sanjay Dangrocha
Sanjay Dangrocha is your guide to a world of adventure through his travel blog. Stay updated for your next journey to famous temples, travel adventures and must-visit places.”


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