Holi is one of the major festivals of India which falls in March every year, the first day of the festival called Chhoti Holi or Holika Dahan and the second day called Dhuleti or Holi. It is one of the major festivals of India and is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. It falls on the Full moon Day in the month of Phalgun-and is also called the Spring Festival, as it marks the arrival of spring.
Market place becomes colorful as heaps of colors are seen on the roadside and roads and colonies continue looking colorful even after the festival by the left over colors played by children and adults both.
Holi is one of the most famous festivals of India that is awaited for eagerly. It is the celebration of colours, brotherhood, peace and prosperity that evades all socio-economic and religious gaps and bridges everyone around.
On Holika Dahan, large bonfires are lit and a special type of Puja is performed to mark the occasion and to burn evil spirits. The celebration of Holika Dahan is also carried in the remembrance of the Holika, the victory of good over evil. However, in some states like Odisha, Holi festival is also known as Dol Jatra or Dol Purnima, on the same day as Holika Dahan. This year Holi falls is on March 10, 2020 (Tuesday) with Holika Dahan on March 9, 2020 (Monday).
So, when is Holi celebrated?
Holi 2020 is on March 10, Tuesday
Holi marks the closing of the winter season. According to the Hindu calendar, Holi is celebrated on the last full moon day or Purnima of the month of Falgun. It falls in the month of February-March according to the English calendar.
Significance of Holika Dahan: The night before Holi
Holi has its own legend associated with it. The Demon king, Hiranyakashyap, wanted everyone to worship him, but his son, Prahlad, refused to do so as he was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. The Demon king was angry and asked his sister Holika, to take Prahlad in her arms and enter a blazing fire .She had been granted with a boon which had made her immune to fire and so only Prahlad would get burnt to death. But when Holika did that, the Lord protected Prahlad and she got burnt to death as the boon was applicable only when she entered the fire alone.
Since that time, people light a bonfire called Holika, on the eve of the Holi festival to celebrate the victory of good over evil. Next day, people play with colors and that is why this day is called Holi with colors or Dulhandi’.
In 2020, Holi would start on 9th March and end on 10th March. The Purnima (full moon) tithi begins from 03:03 AM on 9th March and ends at 23:17 AM on 9th March.
The Story of Holi
According to the Hindu mythology, the demon king Hiranyakashipu and his sister Holika were given the blessing of being immortal and that no one in the universe could kill him.
His son Prahlada was a devotee of Lord Vishnu and out of rage,Hiranyakashipu tried to kill his son but failed. Finally, he took rescue under his sister, Holika. He asked his son Prahlada to sit in the lap of Holika on the fire.
Miraculously, Prahlada was saved by Vishnu while Holika was turned into ashes. Thus, Holi is a celebration of the ‘good’ over the ‘bad’.
Holi also commemorates the love and romance that existed between Lord Krishna and Radha.
There are a number of tales that speak about the various ‘ras-leelas’ that took place in the cities of Mathura and Vrindavan between Krishna and Radha during Holi.
It is believed that on this day Lord Shiva annihilated Kamadeva, the God of love.
Other names of Holi
- Fagwah (in Assam)
- Festival of colours (in English)
- Vasanta utsav
- Sigmo in Goa
- Shimga in Maharashtra
- Doljatra (in Bengali/Oriya)
Rituals of Holi
- On this day, people play with colours and water, smearing ‘gulal’ on each other’s face. These colours are made with natural ingredients that include neem, kumkum, turmeric and flower extracts.
- Huge bonfires are lit in the evening and cow dung cakes, wood, ghee, milk and coconuts are thrown into the fire for worship. This is known as Holika Dahan.
- People dance, sing and feast with families and friends and in agricultural societies, Holi is also symbolic of a new harvest season – Rabi.
- Big fairs called ‘Holi Melas’ are held in different cities across Uttar Pradesh and other parts of North India.
- In Bengal, Holi is celebrated as Doljatra during which young girls dressed up in white and saffron clothes, adorned with garlands and flowers, sing and dance to traditional tunes. During this event, perfumed colour powder known as ‘abir’ are scattered all around that is an expression of joy and happiness. Special sweet dishes like malpua, kheer and basanti sandesh are prepared on this occasion.
- In Karnataka, the folk dance style ‘Bedara vesha’ native to Holi is performed.
- In Tamil Nadu, this day is celebrated as Panguni Uthram. It is believed that on this day Rama-Sita, Shiva-Parvati and Muruga-Devsena got married. Also Mahalakshmi Jayanthi is celebrated that commemorates the incarnation of Mahalakshmi from an ocean of milk.
Important Timings On Holi
- Sunrise – March 10, 2020 6:43 AM
- Sunset – March 10, 2020 6:30 PM
- Purnima Tithi Begins – 03:03 AM on March 09, 2020
- Purnima Tithi Ends – 11:17 PM on March 09, 2020
The Holi Date is Determined by the Hindu Lunar Calendar
The reason that the date of Holi changes every year is that, like many other Hindu holidays, the timing of this festival is based on the Hindu lunisolar calendar which is a combination of moon phases and sun cycles into one calendar system.
The lunar calendar is often used for religious purposes and marks important days of worship whereas the solar calendar is used for day-to-day schedules and is sometimes called the civil calendar.
Holi takes place on the last full moon of the lunar month of Phalguna which marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The rituals of Holika Dahan start only when the full moon is visible in the evening and because of this will begin at different times across the country.
Coronavirus scare: PM Modi says no to Holi 2020. Why you should too
The much-awaited festival of colours, Holi, is just a week away. But this year, you must stay away from the usual Holi celebrations. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also of the same opinion. No points for guessing that the reason is the coronavirus outbreak.
Experts across the world have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. Hence, this year I have decided not to participate in any Holi Milan programme.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 4, 2020
Railway security force personnel and officers will not be discharged on Holi
Gwalior In view of the huge rush of trains on Holi, Railway Protection Force personnel and officers in Jhansi Railway Division will not be discharged. If more is required then only vacation will be allowed. Many employees have become disillusioned with not being discharged. Because this time he will not be able to meet his family members on Holi.
About 100 trains depart from Gwalior railway station in a day. About 30 thousand passengers travel. On Holi, the trains get crowded. This makes it very difficult to protect. For this, more force is required. In view of this, it has been decided.
Increased patrolling at trains and station
Inspector Anand Swaroop Pandey said that patrolling on trains and stations has increased. Experts posted in the control room are keeping an eye on all the activities happening at the station. The duty chart has also been prepared. Apart from this, additional scart will be run in trains. Especially the female bogies will have a special eye