Holi is one of the most important festivals in India and is known as the 'festival of colours' by many. The festival of colours is celebrated on different dates every year similar to other major festivals such as Dussehra and Diwali. The day is usually marked by people smearing each other with colours. Delicious gujiyas and a serving of 'bhang' also make it to most celebrations.
Holika Dahan is an essential part of Holi celebrations. It is carried out in remembrance of Holika and signifies the victory of good over evil. In some states like Odisha, Holi is known as Dol Jatra or Dol Purnima.
Holi is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun. It is also called the Spring Festival, as it marks the arrival of spring.
Holi 2021 Date and time
This year Holi will be celebrated on March 29, 2021 (Monday) while Holika Dahan will be held on March 28, 2021 (Sunday).
Holika Dahan Muhurat - 06:54 PM to 09:14 PM (02 Hours 20 Mins)
Purnima Tithi Begins - 03:27 am on March 28, 2021
Purnima Tithi Ends - 12:17 am on March 29, 2021
Why is Holi celebrated?
According to Bhagvata Purana, King Hiranyakashipu, the king of demonic Asuras could not be killed by any man or animal. The Kings of the Asuras grew arrogant and demanded that everyone in the land should worship him as a god.
The king's own song Prahlada disagreed and remained devoted to Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu, who was enraged by his own son, subjected him to the cruellest of punishments. One day, Holika, the king's sister, tricked Prahlada into sitting on a pyre with her. Holika protected only herself from the fire with a cloak leaving Prahlad exposed. As the fire blazed, the cloak suddenly flew from Holika's body and covered Prahlad. Thus, Prahlada was saved from the fire and Holika was burnt to death. Celebration of Holi marks this incident.
Later, Lord Vishnu appeared in the avatar of Narsimha and killed Hiranyakashipu ending his reign. This is why Holi celebrations begin with the Holika bonfire.
Holi 2021 significance
The burning of Holika marks the victory of good over evil. During Holika Dahan people gathered around a bonfire and perform religious rituals. They pray that their internal evils are destroyed in the fire much like how Holika was.