February 28, 2019 Blog

Chhoti Holi: Holika Dahan Story



Holi is celebrated to welcome the most loved spring season of the year. Holi the festival of colours, is celebrated all over the India with a great enthusiasm. In India every festival signifies the rich cultural history  and the mythological concept behind them . Holi signifies victory of good over bad (evil).In general Holi is a two day festival. The first day of holi, we observe Holika Dahan (Bonfire). This day is known as Choti Holi. The second we observe the main colourful part of holi. The color powder and water are main element of auspicious occasion of Holi. The second day of Holi is called Rangwali Holi, Dhuleti, Dhulandi, Phagwah or Rang Panchami.

Read More- Play with these colors this Holi for good luck

History Of Choti Holi

Choti holi is alao known as “Holika” Dahan . According to the Narad and Vishnu Puran, the whole history lies within the name itself “holika”. Holika was a demon sister of king Hirankashyap. She was having a divine blessing that fire cannot adorn her. Long ago, there was a king named Hiranakashyap. Hiranakshayap has a heartfelt desire to become immortal and in order to become immortal he had barred his kingdom from praying to Lord

Five special boons to Hirankshayap (Given by Lord Brahma)

In order to achieve his dream of “Bing Immortal”, he prayed to Lord Brahma and he was blessed with five special boons.  

Either a human nor an animal would be able to kill him; neither he would be killed inside the door nor outside the door, neither he would be killed during the day nor at night, neither he would be killed by any Astra nor by any Shastra, neither he would be killed on the land nor in the water or in the air.

After this blessing by Lord Brahma, Hiranakashyap started treating him like almighty.

By God’s blessing , he was having a son named “Prahalad”. Prahalad was a very faithful devotee of lord Vishnu. He feel the presence of Lord Vishnu everywhere. He totally beliefs the holy faith, that God is omnipresent and Omnipotent too. The devotion towards Lord Vishnu was not liked by his father Hiranakshayap. Due to his intolerance to the devotion of Lord Vishnu by his son Prahalad. He decided to kill Prahalad.He had made several attempts to kill “Prahalad” but all failed. He then conspired against his son “Prahalad” with his sister “Holika”.  Holika suggested that she will sit in fire and she will take prahalad in her lap. By divine blessing she will not get adorn by fire, but deadly fire will kill Prahalad. Hiranakshayap agreed. However, when it was time and Prahlad was made to sit on Holika’s lap, he began to utter Vishnu’s name, and chant, “Om Namo Narayana”. The pyre was set on fire but owing to Vishnu’s grace and love for his young devotee, the fire burned the demon Holika while her magical clothing saved Prahlad from the fire. Thus the Holika (Evil) was destroyed by God and Good (Prahalad) won. This story indicates that, truth and good power would always win over false and evil power.

Holika Dahan Muhurat 2019

Holika Dahan Timing 20 march 2019 = 20:57 to 24:28+

Duration = 3 Hour 30 Mins
Bhadra Punchha = 17:23 to 18:24
Bhadra Mukha = 18:24 to 20:07

Rituals of Holika Dahan

Holika Dahan or Holi Puja is conducted one day before Holi on an auspicious time in the evening.

Puja materials

*Turmeric roots and dry coconut (these have antibiotic properties and create a healthy environment)

* Unbroken rice (creates determination in worshipers)

* Cow dung cakes (purify the environment from negative energies)

* Flowers (cheers the heart and refreshes the mood)

* Fresh harvested crops of wheat and gram (symbolic representation of Spring)

* Gulal, or colour (happiness is shared with everyone when applied on face)

* Cow’s milk ghee, cotton wicks and earthen/metal lamp (for offering prayers)

* Fruits (as prasad and offerings)

* Gangajal (for charnamrita and purification)

Choti Holi Puja Vidhi

on the auspicious day of Holika Dhahan the devotees recite mantra siddhi (perfection) as this day is considered to be one of the best Siddhi Muharat. The collected pyre is supported by the pole in order save children and nearby people with its fumes. Woods and cow dung cakes are arranged. For the puja, women make garlands with beads of cow dung and use Roli, rice which is not broken. The place where the bonfire is set is washed with cow dung and the holy water of Ganga. A wooden pole is kept in the centre and it is surrounded by cow dung garlands and cow dung toys known as gulari, bharbholiye or badkula. Devotees recite Raksoghna Mantra from Rig Veda to cast away the evil spirits. People must sit down facing either East or North direction and seek blessings from Lord Vishnu.

The significance of Holika Dahan

The significance of the Holika Dahan story is that the demon, in the form of the vices (lust, anger, ego, attachment, greed and jealousy), is destroyed only at the auspicious confluence age, which is neither the Iron Age (kaliyuga) nor the golden age (satyuga). It is the most significant ritual practiced by the people of north India. The name “holiget its name from the “Holika Dahan”. It is stated in the Vedas that one day before the Holikotsav a sacred fire was burnt and specific mantras to ward off evil were recited during the burning ritual. The fire was burnt with the objective to destroy the demonic forces.

Scientific Significance of Holika Dahan

The mutation period of winter and spring induces the growth of bacteria in the atmosphere as well as in the body. The heat generated with the pyre during the Holika Dahan kills bacteria in your body and promotes good health. The left out ash of Holika Dahan when swiped across the forehead along with fresh mango leaves and sandal paste, have several benefits for skin too. The merry environment of Holi needs a lot of physical activity hence acts as a reinvigorating for the seasonal transition of body. The left out ash of the wood and cow dungs is a boon for soil and it increases the fertility of soil.

Holika Dahan literally means burning of Holika. On the auspicious twilight of Holika. People gathered around the round pile of woods. The huge pile of wood is decorated with beads, garlands and little toys made of cow dung. At the top of this pile, they place figures of Prahlada and Holika made of cow dung. Once the Dahan starts, the idol of Prahlad is carefully taken out while the idol of Holika keeps burning, thus marking the symbolic recreation of the Hindu mythology. The burning of Holika signifies that God will always protect its true devotees from the evil. Holika represents the negative energy that gets burnt against the positive will of Prahalad.