Holika Dahan 2024: Date, Significance, Shubh Muhurat, and Puja Rituals

Holika Dahan 2024: Date, Significance, Shubh Muhurat, and Puja Rituals

Holi is one of the major festivals celebrated in India in the month of March. In this two-day festival, Day 1 is marked by Holika Dahan (burning of Holika), and Day 2 involves the playful pelting and application of bright-colored powders known as gulaal. The puffs of bright colors lift the spirits of people, along with the mouth-watering delicacies that people prepare to offer to guests. 

Day 1 of Holi or Holika Dahan has a religious significance as it symbolizes the victory of good over evil, overcoming fears, and the arrival of new beginnings. Devotees perform Holi Puja to seek blessings of God Narsingh, one of the manifestations or avatars of Lord Vishnu, and Prahalad, his devotee. Across India, devotees find auspicious Puja timings in Panchang to avoid Bhadra Kaal and follow various rituals for doing Holi Puja and seeking blessings from God. 

Date of Holika Dahan 2024

According to the scriptures, Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi is celebrated on the evening of Falgun Purnima, or the full moon day. In 2024, Falgun Purnima Tithi starts at 10:00 AM on 24th March and ends at 12:30 PM on 25th March. Hence, Holika Dahan Puja or Chhoti Holi will be celebrated on 24th March 2024, and Badi Holi will be celebrated on 25th March 2024. 

Date of Chhoti Holi – 24th March 2024
Date of Badi Holi – 25th March 2024

Shubh Muhurat to Perform Holika Dahan Puja

On 24th March, Bhadra Kaal will start in the morning at 9:24 AM and end at 10:27 PM at night. Therefore, the Shubh Muhurat to burn Holi will be after 10:28 PM at night. Since it is not advisable to perform any auspicious Puja during the Bhadra Kaal, people who perform Puja rituals in the morning should perform it before 9:27 AM. 

Shubh Muhurat for Holika Dahan – After 10:28 PM

The Story Behind and Significance of Holika Dahan 

Holika Dahan is associated with the arrival of one of the 10 avatars or manifestations of Lord Vishnu on the physical plane or Earth. According to Vishnu Purana, Hiranyakashyap was a king who performed Tapasya (Deep Meditation) for many years and followed all the rules to please Lord Shiva. Pleased by his devotion, Lord Shiva granted him a boon of wish fulfillment. Hiranyakshyap asked for a wish that ensured that he could not be killed by Devas, Gandharva, Yakshas, Humans, Asuras, and Weapons and that he would be safe in heaven, sky, any place on Earth, whether night or day.

Due to supreme powers bestowed by Lord Shiva, he became engulfed in pride and chose the wrong path in life. He forcefully conquered all three Lokas - Bhuloka (Earth), Swarga (Heaven), and Naraka (Hell). He declared himself the only supreme god and punished everyone who did not worship him. 

However, unknown to him, his son Prahlad was a worshipper of Lord Vishnu. When Hiranyakashyap found out about his son's devotion to Lord Vishnu, he ordered his son to be killed. However, no matter how many times an attempt was made to kill Prahlad, Lord Vishnu's blessings saved him from the ominous incidents. It is when Holika, Hiranyakashyap's sister, volunteered to help her brother get rid of his son. She wore a divine cloak and sat in the pyre along with Prahlad. When the pyre was lit, the cloak protected Prahlad, and Holika burned to ashes, leading to her death. 

Angered by the atrocities of Hiranyakashyap, Lord Vishnu took the avatar of Lord Narsingh, half man and half lion, and killed Hiranyakashap with his bare hands while sitting on the Chowkhat (The middle of inside and outside of a house/ a door frame). In the end, the atrocities of evil king Hiranyakashyap ended, and Prahlad received the gift of life from Lord Vishnu. 

Therefore, Holika Dahan is significant as it symbolizes the victory of good over evil and reminds us that there is no greater truth than Dharma. 

Holika Dahan Puja Vidhi (Rituals) 

Before burning the Holika pyre in the evening, women worship it in the morning to invoke positive energy and seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu and Devotee Prahlad to get rid of unwanted fears. Many people book pandit for Holika Dahan Puja to conduct the ceremony with proper rituals and mantra chanting. However, people can also follow the following rituals to seek blessings and convey devotion. 

  1. Take a bath after waking up and wear clean clothes. Remember that this Puja should be performed on an empty stomach. 
  2. Collect Puja Samagri, including a pot filled with fresh water with a few drops of Gangajal, Akshat (rice), Haldi (turmeric), Roli (vermillion), Kaccha Soot (Cotton  thread), flowers, Chandan (sandalwood), 5 types of Anaaj (grains), and Gobar ke Upley (Cow dung cakes). 
  3. Visit the site where the pyre has been set up and clean a section on the floor with gangajal. There, put all the ingredients and one by one, offer everything to the Holika pyre, while chanting Lord Vishnu's mantra 'Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevay Namah.' 
  4. Offer the water into the Holika and take 3 rounds while simultaneously tying the kachcha soot or sacred thread around it. 
  5. Wish for the well-being of your family and offer your prayers to Lord Vishnu and devotee Prahlad.
  6. In the evening, bring Gehoon ki Bali (Wheat strands) along and offer to the pyre once lit with fire. 

Final Reflections

Amidst the playfulness and admiring the beauty of colors on Holi, we should also stay rooted in our traditions and follow rituals that our ancestors have passed on to us. Holi is a significant festival that reminds us of the power of righteousness and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. So, on this great festival of Sanatan Dharma, let us vow to follow our traditions, respect everyone, and enjoy to the fullest with friends and family. 

Happy Holi!!

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