The festival of Holi begins with Holika Dahan which depicts the triumph of ‘good’ over ‘bad’. It is a tradition where people roast “Jau” and “5 Upali” in the fire of Holika in the belief of bidding goodbye to all their problems. Many people prefer bringing the ashes from this ‘dahan’ to their homes as they consider them as blessings from God.
According to Hindu scriptures, the ritual of Holika Dahan is performed during Pradosh Kaal that starts after the sunset and while the Purnima Tithi is prevailing. This year the date for Holika Dahan is 12 March 2017, whereas the timing of Holika Dahan 2017 is 18:32 to 20:50 (evening).
Holika Dahan Muhurta = 18:31 to 20:23
Duration = 1 Hour 59 Mins
Bhadra Punchha = on 11th, March 04:11 to 05:23
Bhadra Mukha = 05:23 to 07:23
Rangwali Holi on 13th, March
Purnima Tithi Begins = 20:23 on 11/Mar/2017
Purnima Tithi Ends = 20:23 on 12/Mar/2017
Legends behind Holika Dahan
Holika was the sister of demon king Hiranyakashyap. According to Hindu mythology, she was blessed by Brahma for not getting any harm from fire or never getting burnt in the fire. Hiranyakashyap was a self-obsessed man, he wanted people to worship him as a god; however, his own son Prahlada didn’t follow his instructions and went on to worship Lord Vishnu.
In order to punish him for not following his orders, Hiranyakashyap asked Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap. Holika followed his brother’s instructions and sat on fire with Prahlad in order to burn him with fire and let to death. However, the story turned the other side, Lord Vishnu saved the Prahalada, while Holika had to pay the price of her sinister desire with her life. Since then the day is celebrated as a victory of good over evil.