Holi 2021: All About Phalgun Purnima, muhurat for Holika Dahana and why it is celebrated
This year, Holika Dahan Purnima Tithi starts at 3.27 am on 28 March and ends at 12.17 am on 29 March
Holi — the carnival of colours — is celebrated across the country. With bonfires, scented coloured chalks, Holi is probably one of the most exuberant festivals in the world.
The entire atmosphere in the country gets charged up during this time. The festival signifies love, joy and is a symbol of the triumph of good over evil.
When is it celebrated?
Falling on the full moon day in the month of ‘Phalgun’ (which is the 12th month of the Hindu calendar) at the approach of the vernal equinox, Holi is the Spring Festival. It is also known as the Dol Purnima, or Dol Jatra in some places.
Such is the festive fervour that almost the entire country gets into the celebratory mood, prepping to play Holi a few days in advance.
People play with ‘pichkari’ (toy guns filled with coloured water), and try to drench each other with coloured water. Gulal or abir (a dry coloured powder) is also used to smear faces. Gujiyas, buttermilk and ‘bhang’ are some of the Holi special drinks and treats that accompany this occasion.
In West Bengal and Assam, Holi is known as Basanta Utsav or spring festival, celebrated with song and dance. In Punjab, Sikhs play with colours on Hola Mohalla, which is celebrated a day after Holi.
In Vrindavan, widows and estranged women immerse themselves in colours on Holi and enjoy the festival.
Why is it celebrated?
The essence of Holi stems from the fact of victory over evil. While on one hand, Holi ushers in new beginnings of harvest or starting afresh with people mending relationships, turning a new leaf and strengthening bonds, on the other hand, it signifies the end of pain and negativity.
There are two popular legends that dictate the Holi celebration and results in it being observed on two different dates.
Muhurat for Holika Dahan
Holika Dahan or Holika bonfire would be ignited the night before the Holi, with dancing and singing around the fire.
This year, Holika Dahan Purnima Tithi starts at 3.27 am on 28 March and ends at 12.17 am on 29 March.
The Holika Dahan ritual is generally performed during Pradosh Kaal.
The Bhadra Punchha is between 10.13 am to 11.16 am, and Bhadra Mukha is between 11.16 am to 1 pm. However, followers do not perform Holika Dahan during Bhadra Mukha. This year, the muhurat to perform Holika Dahan is between 6.37 pm to 8.56 pm on 28 March, 2021.
Though red, or gulaal, was the only colour used in the tradition, today people are seen covered in brilliant colours
The earth dons a riot of colours, the mango trees seem to drown under the weight of their tender blossoms, the rabi crop is ready to be harvested, the sounds of the chirping of birds fills the salubrious air…Vasanta Ritu(spring – the king of festivals as per Indian tradition) has graced the land in full glory.
Marking the onset of the spring season, Holi is a festival of colours, symbolic of joy and victory of good over evil