Holi is a festival of color and joy. In the Hindu religion, Holi is celebrated with lots of excitement. This is one of the most popular festivals in India. This festival is celebrated on a full moon day in the month of Phalgun according to the Hindu calendar.
Holi is a 2 days ancient Hindu religious festival. The first day is known as Holika Dahan. On this day Lord Vishnu saved his great devotee Prahlad from Holika and Hiranyakashyap. People burn the effigy of Holika in their old belongings in the fire and celebrated early by singing and dancing around it on this day.
The next day is called rang wali Holi, Dhulandi, Phagwah, Dhuleti, etc. On these happy days, people play with colors, meet and greet one another and create new beginnings. Children are very happy and they run around splashing watercolors using water guns.
Date of Holi 2023
In 2023, on 7 March Tuesday Holika Dahan will be celebrated and on 8 march Wednesday Rangwali Holi will be celebrated. The full moon day will start on 6 March, Monday at 4.18 p.m. and will end on 7 March Tuesday at 6.10 pm.
The best time for Holika Dahan will be to start on 7 March Tuesday at 6.29 p.m. and will end at 8.52 pm. Most importantly this time there will be no shadow of Bhadra kal during Holika Dahan, because in 2023 Bhadra kal will start on 6 March Monday at 4.48 p.m., and will end on 7 March Tuesday at 5.14 a.m.
What is Holashtok
Holashtok begins 8 days before Holi. It is believed that during this time it is not right to do any kind of good things or beginnings. In 2023, Holashtok will start on 27 February Monday and end on 7 March Tuesday. This Holashtok usually starts from Asthami tithi of Shukla paksha of Falun month to full moon day that is to Holika Dahan.
It is believed that during these days the 8 planets or stars become more insurgent. The insurgent planets are Sun (Surya), Moon (chandrama), Saturn ( Shani), Mars (Mangal), Venus (shukra), Mercury (budh), Jupiter (Guru), and Rahu. And for the extreme state of these planets, it is believed that bad things happen while doing good things during this period.
There are some other mythological stories too regarding Holashtok. It is said that Hiranyakashyap punished his son Prahlad who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu brutally in those days. Hence these days are considered unholy days. So all kinds of ritual occasions such as marriage, engagement, etc do not happen these days. On the 8th day, Lord Vishnu killed Hiranyakashyap and saved Prahlad. So people celebrated the Holi festival for Prahlad being saved to show their joy and happiness.
There is another story. It goes that Lord Mahadev consumed kamdev during one of these days. Later Mahadev was impressed by kamdev’s wife Rati’s prayer and give him rebirth.
Ever since then, people have been celebrating this festival of color with lots of excitement and pleasure.
Best places to celebrate Holi in India
India is a country full of festivals. People from all over the country celebrate Holi. Here are some of the places in India where you can celebrate this colored festival fullest.
Here in the Braj, Holi is celebrated with grandiosity. Here day before holi all people play Holi with flowers. The priest of the Mandir (temple) throws flowers at the devotee. By doing this day believe that they are playing Holi with God. On the day of Holi, people here play Holi with colored powder. There are several temples where you can enjoy the best Holi.
Barsana is the birthplace of Lord Krishna’s favorite Radha. Here Holi is dedicated to Radha. People here celebrate this 2 days festival with lots of enjoyment. Here people of Barsana and Nand gaon enjoy this festival together. people from different places come to visit this festival.
If you want to enjoy a royal Holi celebration, then Udaipur is the best place for you to enjoy it. Here holy celebration starts with Holika Dahan. The king of Mewar start this festival with Holika Dahan and the festival continued for two days.
Shantiniketan of West Bengal people celebrates Holi as a spring festival. On this festival students of this place arrange programs based on Rabindranath Tagore’s compositions and memories. After that people peacefully play Holi. Many international tourists come to visit this festival.
People in Purulia celebrate Holi as a spring festival. Here the celebration continues for 3 days. At this festival, people dance and sing and show their regional performances. All things make this festival more attractive.
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Holi is celebrated in Manipur as a Yaosang festival. The six days festival starts on the full moon day of Falgun month. The main attraction of this festival is the moonlight Dance. This is a wonderful place to enjoy Holi.
Jaipur is one of the best places in India to enjoy Holi. Here people enjoy your festival with Rajasthani folk dance and culture. They also prepare delicious foods during this festive period.
The capital of India Delhi is decorated with various colors on the occasion of Holi. The people of Delhi start to enjoy this festival by taking a tilak on the forehead. All aged people enjoy this festival.
Celebration of Holi in South India is rare. But Holi of Hampi, Karnataka is world famous. There are many temples in Hampi where people from many places come to celebrate Holi. Here also the festival is being celebrated for 2 days.
10. Anandpur Sahib
Anandpur Sahib, Punjab is one of the best places for the celebration of Holi. Here Holi is celebrated as Hola Mohalla and Sikh people celebrate this festival differently. Here held a 3-day fair where different performers show their unique talents. People of this place make various delicious food items on the occasion of this festival.
Holy gives us the message of love, unity, and togetherness. It brings harmony and happiness to the country. So we should use natural colors made from flowers to Tesu or Palash trees (which are not allergic to the skin) and have a safe and healthy holiday celebration.
Nowadays people also make Holi by using flours and food colors which are also good for the skin rather than those chemically synthetic colored powders. In some places, people also use turmeric or other colored plants to get organic color.
India is large in people and culture. Every tribe has its rituals and ways to celebrate their festivals. But still, this is the festival that connects everyone. So these festivals have much importance in Indian culture.