Holi is one of India’s most popular and vibrant festivals. It is a festival of love, fertility, and the triumph of good over evil. People celebrate “Holika Dahan”on the first day by lighting a bonfire and singing and dancing. The following day is Holi, when people celebrate by playing with colours. People smear powdered colours (gulal) on each other, spray unsuspecting passersby with coloured water in balloons, and eat a variety of festive delicacies. Holi puja is also practised by a diverse cross-section of Indian society, primarily among Hindu ethnic groups. The Holi holiday is one of the most awaited days of the year for both young and old!
This blog provides an insight into Holi 2023, its cultural and social significance, and ways of celebrating. To know more, read on!
|Holi 2023 Date||8th March, 2023|
|Holi 2023 Day||Wednesday|
|Holika Dahan (Bonfire) Date||7th March 2023|
|Nature of Festival||Religious and socio-cultural|
|Celebratory Rituals||Holika Dahan, Kama Dahan, sprinkling coloured water and smearing each other with powdered colours,singing, dancing, feasting|
|Also Called As||Lathmar Holi, Dulhandi, Rangpanchami, Spring Festival, Royal Holi, Phagua, Hola Mohalla, Kahila Holi, Yao Sang, Dol Jatra, Dola, Manjal; Kuli, Shigmo, Phakuwah, Festival of Colours, Festival of Spring, Festival of Love|
The Holi holiday date varies from year to year as it is not based on the Gregorian calendar. Holi in 2023 will be celebrated on 8th March. Most state governments in India as well as the central government have declared Holi as a holiday. On this day, most educational institutions, banks, and government offices in India remain closed.
This year, the auspicious time for Holi is as follows:
The Holi festival in 2023 will be held on March 8th (Wednesday). It will be preceded on March 7th by Holika Dahan (Tuesday). The Shubh Muhurat, or auspicious time for performing Holika Dahan, has been set for 6:24 PM to 8:51 PM. Holika Dahan is also known as Chhoti Holi, and the Holi festival the following day is known as Badi Holi.
|Starting time of Purnima Tithi||4:17 PM||7th March 2023|
|Ending time of Purnima Tithi||6:09 PM||7th March 2023|
|Duration of Holika Dahan||2 hours and 27 minutes||7th March 2023|
|Timings for Holika Dahan||6:24 PM to 8:51 PM||7th March 2023|
The Holi Day celebrates the ultimate triumph of good over evil. It teaches people to be spiritual, honest, and pious. In a modern-day society, filled with social ills of different kinds, Holi teaches people the virtue of good conduct. It teaches people to abstain from evil practices and be good to others.
Holi Holiday also helps in bringing the different sections of the society together through celebration. Both Hindus and non-Hindus engage in merriment on this auspicious occasion and exchange gifts, sweets, and pleasantries.
In addition to that, Holi is also believed to be important from a physiological and psychological standpoint. Holi comes at a time when Indians experience a change in weather from winter to spring. It can induce laziness. Many traditional Holi delicacies , such as thandai, kanji, til laddoo, and dahi bhalla among others, are rich in iron, calcium, probiotics, and omega 3 fatty acids. Eating these substances can improve your gut health and immunity.
The day of holi is celebrated in India to mark the onset of Spring after a long winter. It is celebrated on a full moon day (Purnima) of spring in the Phalguna month of the Hindu calendar. Its religious, cultural and social significance is immense. This festival symbolises the triumph of good over evil.
The root cause of the association of colours with the Holi festival can be traced back to Hindu mythology. According to Hindu scriptures, Lord Krishna started the convention of using colours to celebrate Holi with his friends at Vrindavan. This is also why Holi is a day of immense significance for all Hindus.
Holi Fest 2023 will be celebrated all over India. Although it will be celebrated in different ways and styles across different states, highlighting India’s rich cultural heritage, some of the common ways of celebrating the Holi holiday are given below:
On the night before, the effigy of the demoness Holika is burnt, which is called Holika Dahan. Large bonfires are lit to mark this occasion. These bonfires, which symbolically represent Holika’s burning pyre, are left to burn throughout the night. It marks the victory of good over evil.
On the morning of the Holi holiday, both children and grown-ups participate in applying powdered colours on each other and showering each other with coloured water. The most prominent powdered colour used to celebrate this occasion is called gulal, a reddish-pink powder, which is generally made using flowers.
Holi also represents a day of drinking and feasting, accompanied by dancing, singing and merriment. People drink bhang, which is made using the buds and leaves of the cannabis plant. Apart from this, people feast on traditional sweets and savouries, such as malpua, puran poli, rasmalai, barfi, phirni, an assortment of chats, and thandai (cool drink) to name a few.
Due to the enormous cultural diversity in India, there are many variations of Holi and how it is celebrated. Let us take a look at how the Holi festival is usually celebrated in different states in India:
In Uttar Pradesh, Holi is celebrated in many ways. Barsana is famous for its “Lath Mar Holi” celebration. In Kanpur, Holi lasts for seven days during which men and women engage in merriment and play with colours. It culminates with the Ganga Mela. In Gorakhpur, Holi celebrations begin with the Holi puja. This day is spent in fun, merriment, feasting, and gaiety.
Here, a very unique form of Holi celebration can be seen which is called “Kumaoni Holi”. It is mainly celebrated by the people of Kumaon. This involves three types of festivities which are called Khari Holi, Baithki Holi and Mahila Holi. During these celebrations, people come together and sing spiritual hymns and songs.
In Rajasthan, people celebrate Holi with a lot of enthusiasm. One of the unique celebratory features of Holi in Rajasthan is the Royal Holi in Rajasthan. It is primarily celebrated in Udaipur. Once the capital city of the kingdom of Mewar, the royal celebrations of this festival continue to this date on a grand scale.
On the eve of Holi, a bonfire is lit by the current generation of the royal family and an effigy of the demoness Holika is burnt. This is followed by a royal procession comprising horses and bands.
In Gujarat, Holi is celebrated by the name of “Dhuleti”. In it, people participate in a procession accompanied by singing, dancing and throwing coloured powders at each other. The celebrations also include the burning effigies of Holika.
In Punjab, you will find a very unique way of celebrating Holi. It is referred to as Hola Mohalla. This is celebrated a day before the Holi holiday. This celebration includes the display of martial arts, horse riding, poetry recitation and paying homage to Sikh warriors. This is followed by music, dance and playing with colour.
In Bihar, Holi is termed as Phaguwa in the local Bhojpuri dialect. Here it is customary to light the Holika pyre before playing Holi. After that, Holi is played by applying coloured powders and water colours on each other and singing folk songs. Drinking bhang is also an essential part of the Holi celebrations in this state.
In West Bengal, you can find different methods of celebrating this auspicious occasion. It is celebrated as Basanta Utsav is Shantiniketan to welcome the spring. Here, boys and girls wear saffron-coloured clothes and sing and dance to celebrate this festival. It is celebrated as “Dol Jatra” in other parts of the state.
During this festival, the idols of Radha and Krishna are worshipped and taken out in a procession. People also celebrate the festival by playing with colours.
Just like the rest of India, the people of Assam participate enthusiastically in the celebration of Holi. In Assam, Holi is termed “Phakuwah”. This has quite a lot of similarities to West Bengal’s Dol Jatra celebration.
However, in Assam, this festival is celebrated over 2 days. On the first day, clay huts are burnt as the symbolism of Holika Dahan. On the second day, people celebrate this festival with colours.
In the state of Andhra Pradesh, Holi is celebrated by the name of Meduru Holi. This comprises traditional processions where the people dance and sing and throw coloured powder on each other, People also participate in singing spiritual songs dedicated to Lord Krishna.
Kerala also participates in Holi celebrations like other parts of the country. In Kerala, holi is celebrated by the name of Manjal Kuli which is celebrated in the Konkani Temple of Gosripuram Thirumala.
It is believed that the origins of Holi can be traced back to before the birth of Christ. The Bhagavata Purana narrates the origins of this festival. According to it, there was a king of the demonic Asuras by the name of Hiranyakashipu, who after being granted a boon by Brahma, had become invincible.
He forced all his subjects to worship him and wanted to rule the heavens and the earth. However, his son Prahlad refused to abide by him and remained an ardent devotee of Vishnu. This infuriated the king and he decided to kill his son.
He plotted with his sister Holika and tricked his son into sitting in a burning pyre with her. The plan was to burn Prahlad, while Holika, who was immune to fire, would survive. However, Prahlada emerged from the burning pyre without a scratch while Holika was burnt to ashes.
This event is celebrated as the victory of good over evil by burning the effigy of Holika in a bonfire called Holika Dahan.
Given that Holi is declared a holiday by most sectors, it is usually celebrated in the company of friends and family. It is typical for community centres and public gardens to be opened up for large-scale celebrations.
Other than India, Holi festival 2023 will be celebrated in different countries around the world. Some of the countries apart from India where Holi is widely celebrated are given below:
Since the United States has a large Indian community, Holi is celebrated with great enthusiasm there. Through this, they feel connected to their Indian roots. They organise music festivals and Holi meets to celebrate this occasion.
Holi is quite popular in Australia. Here, the people play with colours and dress up in white traditional clothing. In Melbourne, the Holi festival series are organised and people including Australians participate in celebrating the victory of good over evil.
Bangladesh has a diverse religious and cultural heritage, composed of Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist traditions. Thus Hindus as well as non-Hindus celebrate the holi festival with great fanfare. People gather at temples and play with colours to celebrate this auspicious occasion.
Mauritius is another country where the Holi festival is celebrated with a lot of pomp, grandeur, and fanfare as Hinduism is a major religion in this country. The country is adorned with blossoming flowers of spring and the people participate in Holika Dahan on the day before Holi. On the day of Holi, people sprinkle and spray each other with colours. In the evening they greet each other and share sweets.
Holi is an easily identifiable cultural marker for India. It has often been used as a metaphor for the world within India in several Western art productions.
Holi has been an essential part of India’s cultural context, given the representation it has received in pop culture. Holi has been immortalised in Indian art and literature. Countless movies have used the backdrop of the festival to set their songs. Interestingly, many such iconic songs have come to be played in Holi celebrations.
Holi is celebrated differently in different parts of the country. There are several novel aspects of Holi that are not usually seen in other festivals. This includes celebration with colours, consumption of Bhaang, and dancing and singing. These practices have been traced to mythological stories that are an inherent part of the Indian identity.
One of the best places to celebrate Holi in India is Uttar Pradesh. Holi is one of the most important festivals in the state. It is celebrated with great pomp and glory in areas such as Braj, Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana and Nandgaon, which are closely associated with the stories of Lord Krishna.
In Pushkar, located in Rajasthan, Holi is celebrated in a unique manner. Here, people celebrate Holi with flowers instead of colours while dancing to devotional songs.
Mumbai is a great place to celebrate Holi as it is a melting pot of cultures. In addition to celebrations with colours, community celebrations by people from various states are organised throughout the city.
Holi in 2023 will be celebrated on 8th March. It is celebrated with great fervour at many places in India and the world. It marks the end of the winter months as people welcome the onset of the spring season. Generally, most educational institutions and government offices declare Holi a holiday.
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The date of the Holi festival is arrived at based on the Hindu lunar calendar. It does not follow the Gregorian calendar.
Panchang is a Hindu almanack and calendar. It lists traditional Hindu timekeeping units that specify auspicious days, auspicious timings and associated calculations.
Holi is usually celebrated over a day or two. Depending on the local beliefs, some regions may celebrate it for a longer window.
Holi is a public holiday in countries such as India and Nepal, with a significant Hindu population.
Holi is celebrated in the Hindu month of Phalguna.
There are various ways to remove Holi colours from one’s face. One very effective way is to make a paste of wheat flour with any type of carrier oil. Then, apply this oil to your face. Leave it intact for a few minutes and then massage. Finally, you can wash it off with a gentle cleanser.
Holi is also known as the “festival of colours”. It marks the end of winter and the onset of spring. It also symbolises the victory of good over evil. It is celebrated with great pomp and fanfare. People play with powdered and liquid colours and have a feast later on.
In 2023, Holi is neither on the 18th nor on the 19th of March. The Holi festival is on March 8, 2023 (Wednesday).
Holi 2023 will be celebrated in most of the states in India. It is also celebrated in different countries across the world.
No, the Holi holiday is not always on March 18. The date varies from year to year as the festival is based on the Hindu calendar and not on the Gregorian calendar.
This article is solely for educational purposes. Navi doesn't take any responsibility for the information or claims made in the blog.
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