Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi or Holi Puja is performed at the evening a day before to the Holi festival in India, which is considered an important puja for Hindu communities. Holika Dahan is a very old tradition, which is celebrated all around the country with great enthusiasm and happiness. Holi festival gets its name “Holi”, from the death of Holika, who was the sister of Hiranyakashyap a brutal demon king. Holika Dahan is celebrated by burning Holika effigy, which was put on the top of the pyre. The day before to main Holi is also called “Chhoti Holi” or “Small Holi” or “Holika Deepak”. Holi festival is celebrated in the month of Falgun, which is the time of ending winter and starting summer season.
According to Narad Purana, Holika Dahan is made to celebrate the Prahlad’s victory on Holika. Prahlad was the follower of lord Narayana but his father Hiranyakashyap wanted that everyone in his kingdom worship him like God. The demon king punished all those who did not worship him. Hiranyakashyap ordered his son Prahlad too that forget Vishnu and worship him but Prahlad refused to worship him as God. Holika, the sister of Hiranyakashyap got the blessings from God that no fire could burn her so Hiranyakashyap instructed her sister that took the Prahlad into her lap and sit on the fire because fire will not harm you. Taking Prahlad into her lap as she sat on the fire, Prahlad started reciting lord Narayana name. Finally what happened was just opposite, Holika was burnt into the fire and Prahlad was safe in the fire.
Thus, Holika Dahan event celebration started from the name of “Holika”. Every year, people burn the Holika (garland of cow dung) in the bonfire during Holi puja in India. The burning of Cow dung in the fire is called Holika Dahan. Thus, Holi is celebrated to observe the victory of Good over Evil.
It is believed that the Holi puja should be done at the right muhurat because performing Holika Dahan puja at wrong time would bring misfortune and suffering in life. We have mentioned the Holi puja muhurat time below. One should also consult Hindu Panchang in order to know the appropriate time of Holika Dahan or visit to any nearby temple. Generally Holika Dahan date lies between mid-February to March month.
Duration - 2 Hours 20 Minutes
Bhadra Punchha - 10:13 to 11:16
Bhadra Mukha - 11:16 to 13:00
Holi Puja or Holika Dahan takes place in the evening before the main day of Holi festival. After the Holika Dahan night, next day main celebrations of Holi start then people start playing holi with colors and Gulal. Small Boys and Girl use the watergun and water balloons for enjoying holi.
Before starting Holi puja/Holika Dahan puja, one should arrange all the puja items. In the Holika Dahan items list, all the things can be arranged in few hours but there is one thing i.e. “Garland made of Cow dung” that need time if you are making it at home. Below mentioned items are required for Holika Dahan.
A Diya filled with ghee Agarbatti Flowers Roli Chandan Coconut Sweets (Gujia) Akshat (Raw Rice) Moong Lentil Few Dry Turmeric Pieces Raw Yarn Garland made of cow dung Grains Barley A small Water Pot
Holika Dahan preparation starts before fifteen-twenty days ago of Holi festival. People start gathering wooden logs, waste materials like broken furniture and cloths from home, branches of tree, dried leaves etc for Holi bonfire in a prominent public place, parks, community centers and near temples. Gradually it becomes a big heap of before the Holika Dahan.
The carved Holika is kept at a sacred place which is rinsed with holy water of Ganges and cow dung. A wooden pole is designed at the center and then adorned with garlands, beads, and several cow dung toys also known as Bharbholiye, Gulari or Badkula. A Holika idol is made out of cow dung as well a coconut plays the role of Prahlad. At the time of Holika Dahan, Holika is burnt in fire while Prahlad is taken out. Do not forget to keep the four beads of cow dung before the bonfire. While one is to be kept in the name of ancestors, the other in the name of Lord Hanuman, third for Goddess Sheetala and the fourth one in the name of family. If you are searching for Puja vidhi, let’s understand it from the below-mentioned points:
- Keep all the puja ingredients and a water pot in the plate also termed as ‘Puja thali’. Sit down at the venue facing the north or east. Sprinkle some water in the plate while chanting the mantras three times.
- Take flower, rice, water, and money in your right hand and take sankalp.
- Worship Lord Ganesha by taking rice and flower in your right hand.
- Worship Goddess Ambika by applying rice and roli on a flower and offer it to the Goddess.
- Worship Lord Narasimha by applying rice and roli on a flower and offer him.
- Remember Prahlad and worship him by applying roli and rice on a flower.
- Stand up and pray to the almighty for the health and prosperity of your fellow family members.
- Offer the puja ingredients such as unbreakable moong, flower, rice, coconut, turmeric pieces, and Bharbholiye to Holika. Tie three, five or seven rounds of yarn around Holika before setting it to fire.
- Holika is burnt in the blazing fire. People tie roli in their hands and seek blessings from elders.
Holika Dahan is the major ritual performed at the time of Holi festival. It is a must do puja for all the Hindu families in India. The major significance of Holika Dahan is that it is a celebration of victory of Good over Evil. It is said that by performing the Holika Dahan during the Holi festival, all fear can be overpowered. By doing the Holika Dahan puja, we burn all the evils whatever we have inside us. By burning all the bad deeds and evils, we choose a new path in the direction of progress, prosperity and happiness.