When is Holi 2016 ?
The date of Holi is different every year in India! In most of India, Holi is celebrated at the end of winter, on the day after the full moon in March each year. On the eve of Holi, large bonfires are lit to mark occasion and to burn evil spirits. This is known as Holika Dahan.
In 2016, Holi is on March 24, with Holika Dahan on March 23
Holi is a religious festival celebrated by Hindus all over the world. Holi is considered as second biggest festival on Hindu calendar after Diwali. Holi is also known as festival of Colors.
Places related to life of Lord Krishna are known as Braj regions. Holi rituals in Braj regions – Mathura, Vrindavan, Gowardhan, Gokul, Nandagaon and Barsana – are the most famous one. The LathmarHoli – the traditional Holi festivity in Barsana is world famous.
Story behind holi festive
In the Braj region of India, where the Hindu deity Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated for 16 days (until Rangpanchmi) in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna. The festivities officially usher in spring, with Holi celebrated as a festival of love. There is a symbolic myth behind commemorating Krishna as well. As a baby, Krishna developed his characteristic dark blue skin colour because the she-demon Putana poisoned him with her breast milk. In his youth, Krishna despaired whether the fair-skinned Radha and other girls would like him because of his skin colour. His mother, tired of the desperation, asks him to approach Radha and colour her face in any colour he wanted. This he does, and Radha and Krishna became a couple. Ever since, the playful colouring of Radha’s face has been commemorated as Holi.
Timing of Holika Dahan
According to Hindu scriptures, the lighting and worship of the bonfires must be performed at a specific period (muhurta) after sunset on Purnima Tithi (the full moon lunar day), otherwise it will bring great misfortune. Choosing the right muhurta for the Holika Dahan ritual is particularly important, more so than for any other Hindu festival ritual. Ideally, Holika Dahan should be carried out during the auspicious occasion of Pradosh Kaal, when day and night meet (which starts from the time of sunset). However, it mustn’t be done until Bhadra Tithi is over. In 2016, the muhurta for Holika Dahan in India has been calculated by most astrologers to be from sunset until around 9 p.m. (depending on location).