Holi is a festival that welcomes Spring—after the winter season ends. The celebrations for this festival continue for two days, beginning from ‘Holika Dahan’ on the first day which falls on 12 March 2017, this year. According to Hindu scriptures, Holika Dahan should be done during Pradosh Kaal (which starts after sunset) while Purnima Tithi prevails. Many believe that if performed with rituals, this ‘Dahan’ can help us conquer all fears and bestows us with power and prosperity.
Here is how to do it:
Puja ingredients required: One bowl of water, beads made of cow dung, Roli, rice (which are not broken), Agarbatti and Dhoop, flowers, raw cotton thread, turmeric pieces, unbroken lentil of Moong, Batasha, Gulal powder, coconut and fully grown grains of freshly cultivated crops like wheat or grain.
Preparations: Place a wooden pole in the center, surround it with beads or garlands of toys made of cow dung. Make idols of Holika and Prahlada with cow dung and place it on the top of the heap.
Holika Dahan: During Holika Dahan, the idol of Prahlada is taken out. Also, four beads of cow dung are kept safe before the bonfire. One is kept safe in the name of ancestors, second in the name of Lord Hanuman, third in name of Goddess Sheetala and fourth in the name of the family.
Puja Vidhi: Assemble all Puja ingredients in a ‘Thali’, Sit down either facing the East or the North direction. Sprinkle some water on the ‘thali’ and chant Lord Vishnu’s name to seek his blessings.
After ‘Holika Dhan’, the next day is celebrated as ‘Dulhandi’- the festival of colours. The celebrations start since morning and last until evening, it is referred as an occasion when even foe turns friends.