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Holi 2024: Celebrate the Festival of Colours


Holi  •  22 Mar, 2024  •  1,004 Views  •  ⭐ 2.0

Written by Shivani Chourasia


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Holi, widely recognized as the Festival of Colors, is celebrated with great fervour and joy across various regions, most notably in India. This Hindu festival, also referred to as 'Dol Jatra' or 'Basanta Utsav' in regions like West Bengal, Assam, and Tripura, traditionally marks the end of winter and heralds the arrival of spring. Aligned with the Gregorian calendar, it usually takes place in late February or early March, coinciding with the full moon of the Hindu month of Phalguna. It's a time when individuals come together, setting aside any differences, to celebrate the more joyous aspects of life. As anticipation builds for Holi in 2024, the question arises: will it be celebrated on March 24 or March 25? This article delves into the correct date for this exuberant Hindu festival, alongside the time-honoured customs and its significance in India.

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Understanding the Festival of Colors

Holi 2024: Exciting Destinations to Experience the Festival of Colours in  India - News18
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Holi is a vibrant Hindu spring festival observed in India and Nepal, falling on Phalguna's full-moon day (February–March). It's a day when participants joyfully smear each other with coloured powders and drench one another with coloured waters, breaking free from the usual constraints of societal norms such as caste, gender, status, and age. The celebrations in the streets are characterized by boisterous music, the exclamation "Holi hai" (meaning "It's Holi!"), and uninhibited behaviour, allowing for a temporary suspension of societal divisions through a colourful display.

The Significance of Color and Celebration

Holi 2024: How the festival of colours is celebrated in different states of  India
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Participants "play" Holi, engaging in festivities that often feature loud music and shouts of "Holi hai," alongside playful and sometimes risqué behaviour. This blurring of societal lines through the use of vibrant colours leads to a collective transcendence of overt differences. However, the festival concludes on a harmonious note as everyone cleans up, changes into fresh attire, and visits friends, teachers, and family, thus reestablishing and rejuvenating social order. Holi's appeal has crossed borders over time, with celebrations among South Asian communities in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, and other countries hosting significant Indian diasporas. Despite being a time to dissolve differences and unite with loved ones and the community, the festival's boundary-less nature can lead to incidents of harassment and altercations, necessitating increased security measures by law enforcement in various regions across India.

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The Colors of Holi: Tradition and Modernity

Holi 2024: What is the Indian festival of colour and why do we celebrate it?
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The festival's colours, used in the form of powder (gulal) or coloured water, play a central role in the celebrations. Traditionally, these colours were sourced from nature: green from neem and henna leaves; yellow from turmeric and marigold flowers; blue from indigo plants; and red from pomegranates, the flame of the forest (Butea monosperma), and red sandalwood. However, modern celebrations often see the use of synthetically produced powders, which are inexpensive and available in a variety of vibrant shades. Due to concerns over synthetic colours containing toxic, metal-based pigments or harmful dyes that may cause skin and eye irritation, there's a growing preference for herbal colours among celebrants.

The essence of Holi is also captured in community gatherings, music, and food. Traditional sweets like gujiya (a deep-fried pastry filled with coconut and dried fruits), jalebi (a spiral-shaped dessert soaked in syrup), and malpua (Indian pancakes), along with savoury street foods such as chaat and kachori, enhance the festive spirit. Beverages like lassi, thandai (a sweetened milk drink with nuts and spices), and bhang (a cannabis-infused beverage) are commonly enjoyed, contributing to the overall exhilaration of Holi revellers.

Holi 2024: Date and Timing Details

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In accordance with the Hindu lunar calendar, the exuberant festival of Holi is celebrated on the Purnima (full moon day) of the Falgun month every year. The forthcoming Holi festival is scheduled for Monday, March 25, 2024, with the preceding day, known as Holika Dahan or Choti Holi, being celebrated on Sunday, March 24. Drik Panchang provides the following propitious timings:

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Purnima Tithi commences at 09:54 AM on March 24, 2024

Purnima Tithi concludes at 12:29 PM on March 25, 2024

The Origins of Holi

Holi 2024 Upay: Remedies To Follow To Fulfill Your Wishes, Invite  Prosperity And Happiness In Your Life - Boldsky.com
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The vivid and lively festival of Holi finds its roots in Hindu mythology, particularly in the narrative involving Hiranyakashipu, Prahlad, and Lord Vishnu. Legend narrates that Lord Vishnu rescued his fervent devotee, Prahlad, from the malevolent schemes of Prahlad's father, Hiranyakashyap. Holika, Hiranyakashyap's sister, who had been granted immunity to fire, endeavoured to use her boon to eliminate Prahlad by having him sit on her lap in the midst of a blaze. Contrary to expectations, the fire spared Prahlad but consumed Holika, this event symbolizes the victory of good over evil and is commemorated on Holika Dahan, the eve of Holi. Additionally, in regions like Mathura and Vrindavan, Holi celebrates the divine love between Lord Krishna and Radha.

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The Importance of Holi

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For Hindus, Holi holds profound religious importance, being one of the foremost celebrations. It is a festival of exhilaration and joy spanning two days, starting with Choti Holi and culminating in Dulhendi, also known as Badi Holi or Rangwali Holi. On the eve of Choti Holi, devotees light the Holika bonfire as a ceremonial gesture.

Participants create bonfires, offer prayers to Holika, and circumambulate the fire seven times. The following day, Dulhendi involves splashing water and smearing gulaal or vibrant powders on each other, visiting homes, and indulging in sweets and music, encapsulating the spirit of this colourful festival.

Holika Dahan: The Prelude to Holi

Choti Holi 2024 Kab Hai? Know Date, Time, Shubh Muhurat, Puja Vidhi, And  Other Details Inside - Boldsky.com
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Holika Dahan, also recognized as Choti Holi plays a pivotal role in Holi celebrations. This ceremony, falling on the Purnima Tithi of Phalgun month, symbolizes the triumph of righteousness over malevolence and the expulsion of darkness from the world. This year, the ritual will take place on March 24, 2024.

Key Timings for Holika Dahan

Holika Dahan: An important ritual that is performed with full fervour on  choti Holi - The Statesman
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Purnima Tithi Begins: March 24, 2024, at 09:54 AM

Purnima Tithi Ends: on March 25, 2024, at 12:29 PM

Bhadra Punchha: March 24, 2024, from 06:33 PM to 07:53 PM

Bhadra Mukha: March 24, 2024, from 07:53 PM to 10:06 PM

Holika Dahan Muhurta: March 24, 2024, from 11:13 PM to 11:53 PM

Dos and Don'ts for Holika Dahan

Holika Dahan" Images – Browse 1,936 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video |  Adobe Stock
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What to Do:

  • Purify yourself with a bath prior to Holika Dahan.
  • Construct the bonfire using wood, leaves, cow dung cakes, mustard oil, sesame seeds, wheat grains, dry coconut, and Akshat.
  • Ensure cleanliness around the bonfire site.
  • Clean the area with a mix of water and cow dung.
  • Light a diya with desi ghee and offer prayers to eliminate negativity.
  • Worship Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi for wealth, prosperity, and abundance.
  • Engage in acts of charity and donation, as they are deemed highly auspicious.
  • Fast and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu with sincerity and devotion on this Purnima Vrat day.

What Not to Do:

  • Refrain from using plastic, tyres, or harmful materials for the bonfire.
  • Avoid borrowing or lending money.
  • Keep away from discourteous behaviour towards others.
  • Do not interact with unknown objects on the street.
  • Abstain from consuming alcohol during the sacred occasion.
  • Avoid tamasik (impure) food items.
  • Practice celibacy on Holika Dahan's day.
  • Cutting hair and nails is deemed inauspicious.
  • Exercise caution and avoid playing with fire to prevent potential harm.

Conclusion

Holi 2024 beckons with its promise of vibrant colours, joyous celebrations, and the reiteration of the timeless message of good triumphing over evil. As we look forward to March 24 and 25, the dates set for Holika Dahan and Holi respectively, let's embrace the rituals, customs, and spirit of this ancient festival with mindfulness and joy. The practices and traditions associated with Holi not only add colour to our lives but also serve as a reminder of the importance of purity, love, and the renewal of life. As we gather with family and friends to smear colours, share sweets, and sing songs, let us also remember to celebrate responsibly, keeping in mind the dos and don'ts to ensure a safe and inclusive festival for everyone involved. Holi is a time to forgive, forget, and forge ahead with new beginnings. Let this Holi be a celebration of unity, peace, and the vibrant hues of happiness that life has to offer.

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