Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

 Holi 2021 date and time: Why two different Holi dates in India 

In most of the regions, the festival of Holi is celebrated for two days. The first evening of the festival is known as Holika Dahan and the second is known as Rangwali Holi. This year Holi falls is on March 29, 2021 (Monday) with Holika Dahan on March 28, 2021 (Sunday).

Why two different Holi dates in India

What is Holi and why is it celebrated? Holi, the festival of colours is the second biggest festival on the Hindu calendar after Diwali. The festival is all about new beginnings -it welcomes the spring season and celebrates the end of winter. The Holi festival always falls on Purnima, or the day of the full moon in the month of Phalguna, which falls around the middle of March as per the Gregorian calendar.

Those who celebrate this festival, wait for it every year eagerly to play with colours and have delectable dishes. The detailed timings for different events of the Holi festival are given below:

Why two different Holi dates in India?

In most of the regions, the festival of Holi is celebrated for two days. The first evening of the festival is known as Holika Dahan (burning of demon Holika) or Chhoti Holi. That’s when a bonfire is lit for a puja (or prayer). The bonfire is cleansing and meant to burn away all the bad and evil.

The second day of the festival is known as Rangwali Holi. It is a day when people play with coloured powder and coloured water. Rangwali Holi is also known as Dhulandi or Dhulendi or Phagwah.

When is Holi this year? Date

Holi is celebrated on different dates every year. This year Holi falls is on March 29, 2021 (Monday) with Holika Dahan on March 28, 2021 (Sunday).

Holi 2021: Purnima Tithi

On the day of Holika Dahan, Purnima Tithi begins at 03:27 am on Mar 28, 2021, and ends at 12:17 am on Mar 29, 2021.

What is the main purpose of Holi?

Holi signifies the victory of good over evil and is celebrated as a day of spreading happiness and love. The tradition of the Holi is that even the enemies turn friends on Holi and forget any feeling of hardship that may be present.

Apart from this, people on this day do not differentiate between the rich and poor and everybody celebrate the festival together with a spirit of bonhomie and brotherhood. However, the festival is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest.

What is the real story of Holi?

There are many interesting stories associated with the festival’s origin but the most popular stories of Holi origin relates to ‘Holika Dahan. As per the legends, there was a demon king Hiranyakashyap, who wanted everyone to worship him, but his son, Prahlad, refused to do so, as he was a devotee of Lord Vishnu.

The Demon King wished to end Prahlad’s life, he asked his sister Holika, to take Prahlad in her arms and enter a blazing fire. She had been granted a boon that had made her immune to fire but she got burnt to death as the boon was applicable only when she entered the fire alone and no harm occurred to Prahlad. Since then the day is celebrated in the victory of good over bad.

How do people celebrate Holi?

The festival of Holi is celebrated differently in different states. The celebration of the festival begins with a Holika bonfire on the night before Holi. On this day, people gather, sing and dance around the bonfire and pray for the safety of their loved ones.

On the next day, people play with colours, visit family and friends and then share Holi delicacies i.e. food and drinks. Some even mix bhang drinks and sweets and to enjoy the day. Bhang is prepared by mixing the leaves and flowers of the female cannabis plant. It has been consumed as a beverage since ancient times during this festival.

Where the Holi is mainly celebrated?

The festival of colours, Holi is mainly celebrated in India and Nepal, but over the years it has grown to be a celebration that takes place in many communities all across the globe.

Holi Braj regions – Mathura, Vrindavan, Gowardhan, Gokul, Nandagaon and Barsana are the most famous ones. However, the Lathmar Holi is the traditional Holi festivity in Barsana, which is world-famous.

Holi 2022: Date and tithi

Next year, the festival of colours, Holi will be celebrated on Friday, March 18, 2022. Purnima Tithi begins at 13:29 on Mar 17, 2022, and ends at 12:47 on Mar 18, 2022.

Lara Antal 

The date of Holi is based on the Hindu lunar calendar and is different every year in India. In most of the country, Holi is celebrated at the end of winter, around the full moon in March. On the full moon night (Holi eve), large bonfires are lit to mark the occasion and to burn evil spirits. This is known as Holika Dahan.

  • In 2021, Holi is on March 29, with Holika Dahan on March 28. More information.
  • In 2022, Holi is on March 18, with Holika Dahan on March 17.
  • In 2023, Holi is on March 8, with Holika Dahan on March 7.

However, in the states of West Bengal and Odisha, the Holi festival is celebrated as Dol Jatra or Dol Purnima, on the same day as Holika Dahan. Similar to Holi, the Dol Jatra celebrations are dedicated to Lord Krishna. However, the mythology is different.

Watch Now: How to Celebrate Holi Festival in India

Holi Dates Detailed Information

  • The 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 night), 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. The exact muhurta for Holika Dahan in India will vary depending on the location and time of sunset. For example, for 2021, astrologers have calculated it to be between 6:48 p.m. to 9:10 p.m. in Mumbai. In Delhi, it’s 6:37 p.m. to 8:56 p.m.
  • In the afternoon, before the bonfire is lit, a special puja is performed to keep children healthy and safe from evil influences. This comes from the story about Holika in the Hindu text, the Narada Purana. Holika attempted to carry out her demon king brother’s wish to burn his son Prahlad in the fire because Prahlad worshiped Lord Vishnu instead of him. It was believed that Holika couldn’t be harmed by fire, so she sat in it while holding the child. However, she was charred to death and Prahlad was saved due to his devotion to Lord Vishnu, who protected him.
  • On Holi, people will usually spend the morning throwing colored powder and water on each other. These celebrations die down by the afternoon. There are no rituals that need to be performed.
  • Lathmar Holi  The women of Barsana and Nandgaon villages, near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, beat up men with sticks in the week before Holi. In 2021, Lathmar Holi will take place on March 23 in Barsana and March 24 in Nandgaon.
  • Holi in Mathura and Vrindavan — Week-long Holi celebrations at Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan commence with the throwing of flowers (Phoolon Wali Holi) at 4 p.m. on Aanola Ekadashi, which is March 25, 2021. (It only lasts for about 20 minutes, so be on time or you’ll miss it). Widows play Holi in Vrindavan on March 27, 2021. The festivities at Vrindavan conclude on March 28, 2021 (the day before Holi) with the throwing of colors in the morning. In the afternoon, the action moves on to Mathura, where there’s a colorful Holi procession at about 3 p.m. Plus, the throwing of colors the next day on March 29, 2021 at Dwarkadheesh temple in Mathura.
  • Huranga Holi — The day after Holi, March 30, 2021, women gather to beat AND strip men at Daoji temple in Baldeo (45 minutes from Mathura). The action gets underway around noon but arrive by 10 a.m. to secure a good vantage point.

More About Holi

Find out more about the meaning of Holi and how it’s celebrated in this Essential Guide to Holi Festivaland see pictures in this Holi Festival Photo Gallery.

Visiting India during Holi? Check out these Top Places to Celebrate Holi in India.

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