In India, the typical celebration of Holi lasts for two days although preparations can start weeks in advance. The main events of the celebration are the Holika Dahan (burning of the demon Holika on a bonfire to celebrate the victory of good over evil) and the color fight.
Holi 2023 is on Wednesday, March 8th in India. March 7th (full moon night) is the time for Holika Dahan. The Holika Dahan muhurat (the auspicious time) is from 06:24 PM to 08:51 PM on March 7th. March 8th is the day of the color fights, when the whole country head to the streets to celebrate.
Holi's date is determined by the India calendar and changes every year. It is typically observed in March of the Gregorian Calendar, occasionally in late February.
It is observed on the last full moon day or Purnima of the month of Falgun, 12th Hindu calendar month. The Holi purnima tithi ('full moon lunar day') in 2023 is from 04:17 PM on March 6th to 06:09 PM on March 7th.
The Holashtak is from February 28th to March 7th, a period of 8 days before Holi. It is considered inauspicious for big things like buying a house, getting married, or starting a business.
Is Holi Festival a Public Holiday?
Holi is an important holiday in India and most states give residents a public holiday on the day of the color fight (March 8th in 2023).
Only seven states do not have a public holiday on this day: Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal. These states do not have a public holiday for Holi because the festival is either celebrated differently or not at all in these areas.
Read more about Indian public holidays. >>
Holi Kab Hai 2023: Stories Behind Holi and 2-Day Typical Celebrations
March 7th, 2023 Choti Holi/Holika Dahan
Holika Dahan comes from the legend of Prahlad and the Demoness Holika (who is the namesake of the festival, Holi being derived from the name Holika).
Legend says that through penance the demon king Hiranyakashipu was granted five magical powers of protection, which he believed would combine to make him immortal. Holding firm in this belief, he forced his subjects to worship him as a god. However, his son Prahlad refused to do so and instead stayed true to his adoration of the genuine god Vishnu. Acting out of spite, Hiranyakashipu attempted many times to kill his son but was always bested by Vishnu.
During one of these such attempts, Hiranyakashipu conspired with his demoness sister Holika and developed a plan to kill Prahlad. Holika tried to trick Prahlada into burning to death on a pyre, but because her intentions were evil, she was the one who was burned and killed at the full moon night.
The rituals of Holika Dahan start only when the full moon is visible in the evening. The auspicious time (muhurat) lasts 2 hour and 27 minutes from 06:24 PM to 08:51 PM on March 7th. Burning a Holika effigy at any other time is believed to result in bad luck. The building of the pyre for the Holika fire can start weeks in advance, however.
Read more about Holika Dahan Puja Samagri (Ritual Materials List) and Vidhi (Worship Method) >>>
March 8th, 2023 Dhuleti Holi/Rangwali Holi/Color Fights
In the morning of March 8th, the ashes of the Holika bonfires are collected, because they are considered to be very auspicious.
The color fights are continued throughout the day. Throwing colorful powders and waters in Holi is a symbol of love to the gods, family and friends regardless of age, caste and gender. People head to temples and streets armed with colored powders, water balloons, and water guns to join in the giant color fights. On this day, the whole country will be engaged in the joy of colors.
Holi Dates for 2023 to 2030
Included in the table are only the dates of Holi, the second day of celebrating when the color fight takes place. Holika Dahan will occur the day before the dates listed.
|Holi 2022||March 18th||Friday|
|Holi 2023||March 8th||Wednesday|
|Holi 2024||March 25th||Tuesday|
|Holi 2025||March 14th||Saturday|
|Holi 2026||March 4th||Wednesday|
|Holi 2027||March 23rd||Tuesday|
|Holi 2028||March 12th||Sunday|
|Holi 2029||March 1st||Thursday|
|Holi 2030||March 20th||Wednesday|
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