Bonfires are a common sight on Holi Dahan
When is Holi Dahan?
How long until Holika Dahan?
|This holiday next takes place in 29 Days.|
Dates of Doljatra
Regions where Holika Dahan is a holiday
|Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand|
|Originally a harvest and fertility festival, Holi also commemorates a legend from Hindu Mythology|
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 king who resented his son, Prince Prahlada, worshipping Lord Vishnu. He tries to murder the prince on several occasions but fails each time.
Finally, the king's sister Holika who is said to be immune to burning sits with the boy inside a fire. However, the prince emerges unhurt, while his aunt burns in the fire and dies.
Holi remembers this event, and huge bonfires are burnt on Holi Dahan as a symbolic representation.
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.
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.