Holi is the festival of togetherness celebrated with all the customs and traditions by removing all the evils and bad thoughts from our mind. It is celebrated by people who belong to different community and caste. According to the tradition and old belief, the main reason behind the celebration of Holi is the stories associated with this festival like Holika-prahalad, Radha-Krishan, etc. People starts celebrate this festival in a nature way without the use of harmful chemicals and save water too. The word Holi comes from Holika i.e. on this day spirit of the evil get burned. Holika Dahan pooja is specially done by married women as this pooja is also for the healthy and long life of their husbands.
Story behind Holika Dahan
According to Hindu methodology, one of the most common stories behind the celebration of Holika Dahan is about Bhakt Prahalad and Holika. Prahalad was the son of king Hiranyakashipu’s. He was a cruel king and treated himself as God. Prahalad was a devotee of God Vishnu. His father’s harsh punishments cannot change their belief in God. One day king along with his sister Holika decided to kill his son. Fire cannot affect Holika. Thus, he decided to burn alive his son with the help of Holika. Thus Holika hold Prahalad on her laps and sat on fire. Holika got burned and God Vishnu saved Prahalad from fire. At last, cruel king was also killed by God Vishnu. From that day this day is celebrated as Holika Dahan.
Pooja on Holika Dahan
Holika Dahan is celebrated one day before Holi and termed as ‘Choti Holi’ or ‘Thandi Holi’. On the day of Holika Dahan, bonfires are enlighten at night and celebrated in a traditional way. It is the day to celebrate the victory of good over bad. This pooja can be performed in any place. The time for this pooja is fixed by pundit ji depending upon the Hindu panchang. To get rid of any misfortune and suffering, people perform this pooja with appropriate tradition and time.
Samagri required for Holika Dahan pooja
The below list of material can be arranged in a pooja thali before the pooja gets started. Special kind of rice i.e. Akshat rice, one bowl full of water, agarbatti, flowers, beads made up of cow dung, coconut, gulal powder of any colour, raw cotton thread, unbroken lentils of moong, freshly cultivated wheat and batasha used in the form of sweet. In some places, pooja is done in another way thus the items used in pooja may vary.
This pooja is done in an open place where a big log of wood is place at the centre. Other than wood, dried mango leaves, branches of twigs, artificial swords are placed. Idols of Prahalad and Holika made of cow dung are placed. Mantras are recited and log of wood gets enlighten with the help of fire. Next morning, the ashes left behind are collected by the people. After this pooja sweets like malpuas, gujias, etc gets distributed. It is done for the sake of health, prosperity and wealth.