Known all across the world as the festival of colours, Holi is a Hindu festival that marks the arrival of spring and signifies the triumph of good over evil. It is celebrated every year in the month of ‘Phalguna’ in the Hindu calendar.
Holika Dahan, also known as choti Holi, is celebrated the day before Holi. It celebrates the killing of the demoness Holika and people burn bonfires on this day.
Here is everything you need to know about the festival:
When is Holika Dahan?
Holika Dahan falls on Sunday, March 28, this year. It is celebrated on the Purnima Tithi (full moon night) of the month of Phalguna in the Hindu calendar, which falls sometime between March and April.
History of Holika Dahan
According to legend, the demon king Hiranyakashyapu hated his son, Prahlad, because he was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. He thus attempted to kill Prahlad one day, by making him sit on a burning pyre along with his sister Holika, who had been granted a boon that allowed her to remain unharmed by fire.
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However, Prahlad kept his faith in god, and miraculously he survived the burning pyre while his aunt Holika was consumed by the flames.
The story of Prahlad teaches people to never lose faith in god and that good always triumphs over evil. Thus people burn bonfires to mark this day and commemorate the message.
This day is followed by Holi, when people play with colours and prepare special sweets, like gujiya, for the occassion.