Holi is an ancient Indian festival. It is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun. Two functions are celebrated on Holi: one is Holika Dahan and the other is Dhulendi i.e. the day of playing with colours and making everyone colourful. Actually this festival of colors is associated with Lord Krishna, who in his childhood played with Gopis and Gopas in Vrindavan.
Holika Dahan symbolizes victory of good over evil. On this day the best way of celebrating Holy is to win over your own evil thoughts. On this day we should cleanse our inner self. Try to perform at least one good deed daily. This habit of doing one good deed everyday will go a long way and by next year you will be a much better person in your own eyes.
Holika Dahan has a very important mythology behind. On this day bonfires are lit or logs of wood are burnt in memory of the miraculous escape that child Prahalad had when Holika, sister of Hiranyakashyap, carried him in to the fire. Holika the demon was burnt but Prahalad the staunch devotee of God Shri Hari Vishnu escaped without any burn. His total devotion towards God saved him from fire but Holika was burnt alive.
Determination of Date
Festival of Burning of Holika (Holika Dahan) is celebrated on the Poornima(Full Moon Day) falling during Pradosh (Sun Set time). If Poornima falling during Pradosh get extended to two days then it is celebrated on second day and if on both the days it does not fall during Pradosh then it is celebrated on the first day.
But, if on the first day it falls during Pradosh and on the other day it continues till 3.5 Praharas and the duration of Patipada is more than Poornima then this Holika Dahan is celebrated on the second day. Please note that the day is divided into 8 Praharas. The duration of each Prahara is three hours.
How to Celebrate
Holika Dahan is celebrated in the evening of Holika Dahan day. It is also known as Jalanewali Holi. In this ceremony people burn Holika and then visit friends and relatives and exchange gifts, sweets and greetings.
It is celebrated on the next day of Holika Dahan. It is also known as Rangwali Holi. The festival of Holi helps to bring the society together and strengthen the secular fabric of our country. Everybody celebrates the festival together with a spirit of bonhomie and brotherhood.
The festival also promotes good health. Some believe that playing with colors help to promote good health as colors are said to have great impact on our body and health. People also clean-up their houses on Holi which helps in clearing up the dust and mess in the house and get rid of mosquitoes and others pests. A clean house generally makes the residents feel good and generate positive energies. Gear up to play with colors on your friends and family members. At the same time shed the colors of hatred and violence from your heart and fill it with vibrant colors of love, patience and forgiveness.