Doljatra in Bihar in 2020

Doljatra in Bihar in 2020
Hindu devotees watch a Holika bonfire in Ahmedabad, India.
  How long until Doljatra?
This holiday next takes place in 168 days.
  Dates of Doljatra in Bihar
2021 Sun, Mar 28Regional Holiday
2020 Mon, Mar 9Regional Holiday
2019 Thu, Mar 21Regional Holiday
2018 Thu, Mar 1Regional Holiday
2017 Mon, Mar 13Regional Holiday
  Summary
The day before Holi commemorates the burning of the demon Holika
Related holidays

When is Holi Dahan?

The day before Holi is known as Holi Dahan and can be a holiday in some states.

It is celebrated on the full moon in early March every year.

History of Holi Dahan

Though Holi was originally a festival to celebrate the start of Spring, today it is better known as a symbolic commemoration of a legend from Hindu Mythology.

The story is that there was once a demon king called Hiranyakashayap who resented his son, Prince Prahlada, worshipping Lord Vishnu. He tries to murder the prince on several occasions but fails each time.

Finally, a plan was hatched where Holika would take Prahlad onto her lap and sit in a bonfire. Holika would survive because she had an enchanted shawl that would protect her from the flames.

But the plan failed. Prahlad was saved by Vishnu and it was Holika who died as she was only immune to fire if she was alone. Shortly after, Vishnu killed Hiranyakashayap and Prahlad became king.

The moral of the story is that good always triumphs over evil.

Holi Dahan remembers this event, and huge bonfires are burnt on Holi Dahan as a symbolic representation of the cremation of Holika.

The festival is also associated with the eternal love of Krishna and Radha, and hence, Holi is spread over 16 days in Vrindavan as well as Mathura - the two cities with which Lord Krishna shared a deep affiliation.

How is Holi Dahan celebrated?

The festival begins on the night of the full moon. Fires are lit on street corners to cleanse the air of evil spirits and bad vibes, and to symbolize the destruction of the wicked Holika, after whom the festival was named.

Doljatra

In Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, Doljatra is celebrated instead of Holi. Essentially it is the same festival as Holi Dahan, but has added emphasis as it is the last festival of the Bengali year.

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