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Holika Dahan, also known as the day of Choti Holi, is one of the highly regarded festivals celebrated in India. Holika Dahan is done one day before the festival of Holi, and it is marked by burning logs of standing wood known as Holika.
On this day, people gather around Holika and pray and perform rituals such as tying a thread, lighting a Diya and chanting Gayatri Mantra. This tradition is followed as it is believed that on Holika Dahan, one burns their negativity and bad vibes in the Holika and moves towards a better life with more positivity and energy.
The story of Holika Dahan emphasises the victory of good over evil. According to the Hindu Mythology, Hiranyakashipu, the demon king, hated Lord Vishnu, while his son Prahlad was a worshipper of Lord Vishnu. The demon king could not accept this thing, and he tried to kill his son by taking help from his sister Holika.
Holika then took Prahlad and persuaded him to sit with her in the bonfire. Lord Brahma blessed Holika with a shawl that would protect her from fire, and as soon as Prahlad entered the fire, he prayed to Lord Vishnu to save his life. The Lord Vishnu then made the wind blow, and the shawl slipped over from Holika's shoulders and wrapped Prahlad hence keeping his life and letting Holika burn to death.
This day is marked as the victory of the good over the evil, and people respect Prahlad's devotion to Lord Vishnu. They set up a bonfire and offer prayers and perform certain rituals to seek blessings from Lord Vishnu. Some people also worship Holika as it is believed that worshipping Holika on this day brings prosperity, power and success to their house.
On the day of Holika Dahan, the demoness Holika is worshipped. It is believed that any fear can be conquered if certain rituals according to the perfect timings are performed during the Holika Pujan. This is done before Holika Dahan, and here are certain things that must be done during Holika Pujan:
The first and foremost thing that has to be done for the Holika Pujan that is to set up the log of woods in a standing position and time thread around it. This is known as Holika, and this ritual is called Holika shape, which means setting up Holika.
In Hindu culture, specific offerings are made during the pooja to the holy fire, and these are important as they help in completing the whole ritual. Samagri, like Gulal, Coconut, Moli, Agarbatti etc., must be there during the Pujan.
The pooja begins with chanting mantras and remembering Lord Ganesha because no Pooja is complete if Lord Ganesha is not worshipped. Certain specific mantras dedicated to Holika must be chanted, and an earthen lamp must be lit during the puja. Now, remember the devotee Prahlad, and with this, the Puja is complete.
Holika Dahan is a festival celebrated every year on the day of Falgun Purnima as it glorifies the victory of good over evil and the power of devotion toward God. One must check the timings and shubh muhurat from Drik Panchang to perform rituals in Holika Pujan and Holika Dahan, as it is essential to go along the time; otherwise, it can sometimes backfire and create havoc in one's life.