Holi Festival- Significance of the Holi Festival

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The Holi festival is the traditional Indian festival of colors that marks the arrival of spring and the end of winter. Ritually, the Holi festival is a celebration of love, friendship and the zest of life through colors. In ancient scriptures, the festival of Holi represents a celebration of the triumph of good over evil.

Significance of Holi festivalIt is important to understand that in Hinduism, the various festivals are events that give us an opportunity to celebrate every act and event of creation that links us to our past. The common thread in the celebration of all major Hindu festivals is a puranic tale that talks about the Gods defeating the demons. In a philosophical sense, the Gods and demons are representations of our own good and evil tendencies. The celebration of these festivals is to empower and encourage us to choose wisely and perform good deeds. The holi festival also has its genesis in ancient stories that are mentioned in our ancient scriptures.

Significance of Holi festival: Why do we celebrate Holi

The english word “festival” translates as “Utsava” in Sanskirt. Utsava is formed from ut’ meaning ‘removal’ and sava’ meaning ‘misery’.

When we celebrate the festival of Holi we are basically expressing the joy of participating in the diversity of life and reminding ourselves that each “winter” in our life is temporary and will be followed by a joyful “spring”

The word Holi originates from the word Holika who was the sister of king Hiranyakashipu, a demon king. According to the legend, King Hiranyakashipu, king of Multan had become virtually indestructible because of a boon that he had earned and that had made him arrogant. He demanded that people consider him as God and worship him. His son Prahlad, however, did not worship him and remained an ardent worshipper of Lord Vishnu. This angered Hiranyakashipu, and he subjected his son to several punishments. However, none of those punishments affected him. The King then asked his sister, Holika who was immune to fire to sit on a pyre with Prahlad on her lap. Prahalad continued to recite Lord Vishnu’s name. With the blessings of God, the fire didn’t do any harm to him, but Holika got burnt to ashes. It is the death of Holika that signifies the importance of Holika Dahan. By remembering this story, people celebrate Holi every year to reinforce their faith in the almighty and take solace from the fact that “bhakti” or faith will take them through the trials of Kali Yuga.

Colors becoming a part of the Holi festival is also dated back to the time of Lord Krishna and Radha. Lord Krishna used to celebrate the festival with colors and play Holi with his friends at Vrindavan and Gokul. This has led to people also interpret Holi as a celebration between the divine love of Lord Krishna and Radha. Remembering this incident, people apply colors to forget personal enmity and forgive & forget.

Popularly, the festival of Holi is celebrated with friends and family coming together and enjoy themselves by playing with “gulal” or colors. The common belief is that Holi is being celebrated to welcome spring and bid goodbye to the winters. It is also known as Vasant Mahotsava because spring harvest is associated with it. The festival brings happiness and prosperity for all. People also drench each other with colored water to celebrate this festival.

The Holi festival starts on Purnima and lasts for two days. The first day of the holi festivals is known as Choti Holi or Holika Dahan and the second day of the Holi festival is known as Holi or Dhulandi. The festival of Holi falls in the month of Falgun, somewhere between the end of February to the middle of March.

How is the Holi Festival celebrated in different Parts of India?

  • significance of holi festivalThe festival of Holi is celebrated in Vrindavan and Mathura with much pomp and joy as it is here where Lord Krishna spent his childhood. The celebrations in these places span over a week with people visiting temples of Lord Krishna and Radha to get themselves drenched in color and colored water.
  • In Barsana (Radha’s village) people play Lathmaar Holi. This is said to be a recreation of the time when Lord Krishna who was from the Nandgaon village visited Radha’s village to play Holi along with his friends. However, sticks were hurled at them to drive them out of the village. Keeping in sync with the tradition, it is still done every year with women hurling sticks at the men and the men trying to save themselves.
  • In western India, the tradition is to hang a pot of buttermilk high up in the middle of the street. People form a human staircase and try to break the pot. Whoever succeeds in breaking the pot is crowned as the winner of that area for a year. The tradition of breaking pots is linked to the habit of Lord Krishna who used to steal and break the pots of buttermilk at people’s houses.
  • In Eastern India, the way of celebrating the festival of Holi is slighly different. People in Bengal play with a colored powder called Abeer or with colored powder and colored water. Holi here is known as Dol Yatra. Idols of Krishna and Radha are placed on a swing, and people take turns to swing them. Orissa also has similar traditions as those of Bengal and celebrate the festival in a similar way.
  • In North East India, Holi is a six-day festival. In earlier times, folk dances and folk songs were performed under the moonlight. This has changed now, and the folk songs have been replaced by modern bands. People set ablaze a thatched hut of twigs and hay, and devotees dance and play with gulal in front of Lord Krishna’s temple. Several cultural activities are performed on the last day of the festival.

The Holi festival has gained popularity and is now celebrated in different parts of the world too.

Holika Dahan is celebrated one day before Holi where a pyre is lit. The ritual symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. People sing and dance around the pyre.

The festival of Holi is said to strengthen the feeling of brotherhood among the people. It remains as the festival that is celebrated with much joy and ecstasy all over India by people of all ages.

               ALSO READ: THE STORY OF GODDESS LAKSHMI

Usage of colors in the Holi Festival

In earlier times, the colors known as gulal were made from the flowers of the “palash” or “tesu” tree. No chemicals were added, causing no harm to the skin. But, these days’ artificial colors are made using harsh chemicals that cause skin irritation at times.

Holi Festival Dates in 2017

Holika Dahan or Choti Holi is on the 12th of March

Holi or Rangwali Holi is on the 13th of March

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Significance of Navratri- Navratri 2017 dates

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Navratri 2017 dates are from September 21 to September 27, 2017. The various interpretations of Navratri lead to a single fact- the triumph of good over evil. The festival of Navratri represents the triumph of our own sattvic tendencies over our bad habits and this triumph is celebrated by the entire country in these nine colorful nights.

Navratri 2017 Dates : Significance of Navratri

Navratri 2017 DatesThe Sanskrit meaning of the word Navratri is “nine nights”. The festival of Navratri extends over nine nights and the nine forms of Devi are worshipped in Navratri.

The most popular story about Navratri is from the Markendya Purana. The sacred text narrates how Goddess Durga helped the gods by killing Mahishasura, a demon who took many different forms, including that of a buffalo. For killing Mahishasura, Goddess Durga is also known as Mahishasura Mardini.

It is important to realize the significance of the battle between the Devi and the Asuras. Although this is told in the form of a story and has religious significance, at another level it also denotes the everyday battles that we face in life. This battle is between the sattvic (divine) and tamasic (demoniac) tendencies prevalent in each one of us. Each day we make choices out of our free will that determine our mental and spiritual evolution in this cycle of life and death.

        READ THE STORY ABOUT DEVI DEFEATING MAHISASURA

 Navratri 2017 dates: 9 forms of Goddess Durga that will be worshipped

The first day of Navratri is the ‘Kalash Sthapna’ day when an earthen pot or a metal pot is kept in front of the Devi. This pot is not to be touched or moved for the next nine days. Also around the pot, grain seeds are spread, and the plants are noticed growing from the seeds for the next nine days.

The following 9 forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped:

  • Devi Shailaputri (Navratri 2017 dates: September 21)

 The first day is dedicated for the worship of Shailaputri. She is the daughter of the mountains or the Himalayas, and she is also sometimes known as Hemavana or Hemavati. She has a trident and lotus in both her hands and she is seen riding a bull.

 

  • Devi Brahmacharini (Navratri 2017 dates: September 22)

 The second day is the day of Devi Brahmacharini. She carries a rosary and a water utensil in both her hands. She is the goddess of happiness and peace, and  she is known as the route to Moksha.

 

  • Devi Chandraghanta (Navratri 2017 dates: September 23)

Devi Chandraghanta is worshiped on the third day. She got this name as she carries a half moon in the shape of a bell at the head. The goddess rides a lion and carries different weapons in her hands. She has a bright complexion with the third eye open on her forehead. She is known for her bravery for fighting against the demons.

 

  • Devi Kushmanda (Navratri 2017 dates: September 24)

 Devi Kushmanda is the goddess worshiped on the fourth day of Navratri. She has eight hands with weapons, and she rides a lion. She is known to be the creator of the whole universe.

 

  • Devi Skandmata (Navratri date 2017: September 25)

 The fifth day is the worship day of Devi Skandamata. She is the mother of Lord Kartikeya who is the commander in chief of the gods for wars.

 

  • Devi Katyayani (Navratri date 2017: September 26)

 On the sixth day, Devi Katyayani is worshiped. It is said that there lived a sage named Kata. Though he had a son named Katya, he craved for a daughter as the Devi. Due to his strong devotion, Devi Adi Shakti blessed him with a daughter who was named Katyayani.

 

  • Devi Kaalratri (Navratri date 2017: September 27)

 The fierce Devi Kaalratri is worshiped on the seventh day. She is dark and fearless. She has weapons in her hands with all her three eyes open. It is said that during the war, whenever the blood of the demons would drop on the earth, a new demon was born. To stop this Devi took this form and started killing the demons and drinking the blood so that it does not touch the Earth.

 

  • Devi Maha Gauri (Navratri date 2017: September 28)

 It is said that once Devi Parvati was in intense meditation for a long time. Her entire form turned into black from the energy of her Tapas. It was then Lord Shiva cleaned her, and she gained back her  beauty and glory. This form of Devi Parvati is called Maha Gauri and she is worshiped now on the eighth day of Navratri.

 

  • Devi Siddhidatri (Navratri date 2017: September 29)

 On the final day or the ninth day, Devi Siddhidatri is worshiped. She rides a lion and has supernatural powers of healing. It is believed that after the war ended with the demons, Devi Siddhidatri healed the whole world with her powers that was destroyed by the demons.

It is also believed, the Lord Rama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu killed the demon king Ravana on this very day to free Devi Sita from Ravana who had kidnapped Sita. As with most Hindu religious texts, thre is a secret behind why Devi allowed herself to get kidnapped by Ravana and why did Lord Vishnu take birth as maryada purshottam Ram.

The banishment of Sita or Sita’s agnipariksha in Ramayana is often misunderstood and actually has a hidden significance.

READ ABOUT THE SECRET BEHIND SITA’S BANISHMENT

       There is an additional philosophical significance behind celebrating Navratri. Our saints were quite intelligent and far-sighted to understand the environment and hence set a norm to celebrate Navratri. It is believed in Hindu Vedas that due to climatic changes, the energies within us also keep on changing. The positive energies are known as Sattvic while the negative energies are said to be Tamasic.

It is said that during the month of Vadraba, the energy level is naturally low and hence we are prone to fall victim to negative traits such as ego, temper and hatred. This is the reason why Ganapati Puja is performed for the first ten days. After a few days of the Puja, Shradha month is followed that helps in increasing our energy. To celebrate this victory of Sattva over Tamas, the festival Navratri is celebrated on the initial days of Ashvin.

Navratri 2017 will be celebrated in the month of September. Kalashsthapna or Ghatsthapna will be held on 21st of September that is also considered to be the first day of Navratri. After nine days of celebration, on 30th of September Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra will be celebrated.

There are four Navratri’s in a year. The one mentioned above is the Maha Navratri. The other important Navratri’s are Chaitra Navratri and Gupt Navratri.

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Griha Pravesh Dates 2017 : Griha Pravesh Dates with Muhurat

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Griha Pravesh dates
Griha Pravesh

Auspicious Griha Pravesh Dates 2017 along with Timings. House warming ceremony dates with timings

Griha Pravesh or Griha Pravesham or House warming ceremony is a Hindu ritual that is performed when a person or a family is moving into a new house. An auspicious date and time (muhurat) is chosen as per the panchang (astrological charts) and the ritual is carried on by a vedic priest (pundit) in the presence of the inhabitants of the house along with friends and family.

While the Griha Pravesh  ceremony is aimed at promoting overall fortune and health of the inhabitants of the house, the ritual also removes negative energy points and  Vaastu faults by including various pujas like a havan and Vaastu Puja.

Griha Pravesh Dates 2017 with Timings

Griha Pravesh Dates 2017- February

February 1, 2017 – Wednesday, Tithi: Panchami

Muhurat from 06:19  (February 1) to  02:20 (February 2)

February 6, 2017 – Monday, Tithi: Dashami, Ekadashi

Muhurat from 06:17 (February 6) to 06:16 (February 7)

February 13, 2017 – Monday, Tithi: Tritiya

Muhurat from 08:59(February 13) to 04:56 (February 14)

February 15,  2017– Wednesday, Tithi: Panchami

Muhurat from 11:32  (February 15) to 06:11 (February 16)

Griha Pravesh Dates 2017- March

March 1, 2017 – Wednesday, Tithi: Tritiya

Muhurat from 06:01 to 15:17

March 4, 2017 – Saturday, Tithi: Saptami

Muhurat from 22:29 (March 4) to 05:58 (March 5)

March 13, 2017 – Monday, Tithi: Pratipada

Muhurat from 05:50 to 18:42

March 15, 2017 – Wednesday, Tithi: Tritiya

Muhurat from 05:48 to 22:11

March 22, 2017 – Wednesday, Tithi: Dashami

Muhurat from 14:07 (March 22) to 05:41 (March 23)

March 23, 2017 – Thursday, Tithi: Dashami, Ekadashi

Muhurat from 05:41 to 15:47

Griha Pravesh Dates 2017 – April

April 28, 2017 – Friday, Tithi: Tritiya

Muhurat from 13:39 (April 28) to 05:09 (April 29)

Griha Pravesh Dates 2017 – May

May 6, 2017 – Saturday, Tithi: Ekadashi

Muhurat from 06:09  to 08:30

May 8, 2017 – Monday

Muhurat from 09:44 to 23:16

May 11, 2017 – Thursday, Tithi: Pratipada

Muhurat from 17:19 (May 11) to 05:01 (May 12)

May 12, 2017 – Friday, Tithi: Dwitiya

Muhurat from 05:01 to 20:13

May 22, 2017 – Monday, Tithi: Ekadashi

Muhurat from 04:57  to 14:43

May 26, 2017 – Friday, Tithi: Dwitiya

Muhurat from 21:18 (May 26) to 04:56 (May 27)

May 27, 2017 – Saturday, Tithi: Dwitiya

Muhurat from 04:56 (May 27) to 18:08 (May 28)

Griha Pravesh Dates 2017 – June

June 3, 2017 – Saturday, Tithi: Dashami

Muhurat from 06:51 to 13:27

June 5, 2017– Monday, Tithi: Ekadashi

Muhurat from 04:55 to 09:42

June 12, 2017 – Monday, Tithi: Tritiya

Muhurat from 10:51 (June 12) to 01:18 (June 13)

June 19, 2017 – Monday, Tithi: Dashami

Muhurat from 04:56 to 17:27

Griha Pravesh Dates 2017 – November

November 13, 2017 – Monday, Tithi: Ekadashi

Muhurat from 11:51 (November 13) to 05:52 (November 14)

November 23, 2017 – Thursday, Tithi: Panchami

Muhurat from 07:00 (November 23) to 05:34 (November 24)

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Hindu Festivals 2017 : Calendar & Dates for Hindu festivals 2017

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Hindu Festivals 2017. Hindu Calendar 2017

Hindu festivals 2017
Hindu Festivals- Celebrating Life

Significance of Hindu Festivals

Hinduism teaches that life is a constant state of celebration. Being the most ancient religion of the world, Hinduism promotes celebrating every act and event of creation that links us to our past.

When Hindus celebrate a festival they are basically praying and participating in rituals and traditions for removing misery from their lives. Most of the prominent festivals in Hinduism carry a historic tale of the gods defeating the demons which is supposed to motivate mankind to introspect and overpower the tamasic tendencies by their sattvic tendencies.

The english word “festival” translates as “Utsava” in Sanskirt. Utsava is formed from ‘ut’ meaning ‘removal’ and ‘sava’ meaning ‘misery’.

List of Hindu Festivals 2017/Hindu Calendar 2017

Hindu festivals January 2017

         January 8, 2017 – Paush Putrada Ekadashi

January 14, 2017- Makar Sakranti, Pongal

 January 23, 2017- Shattila Ekadashi

Hindu festivals in February 2017

  February 1, 2017- Vasant Panchami

 February 7, 2017 – Jaya Ekadashi

February 22, 2017- Vijaya Ekadashi

February 24, 2017- Maha Shivaratri

Hindu festivals in March 2017

March 8, 2017-  Amlaki Ekadashi

March 13, 2017- Holi

March 24, 2017- Papmochani Ekadashi

       March 28, 2017- Gudi Padwa, Ugadi, Chaitra Navratri

Hindu festivals in April 2017

April 5, 2017 – Ram Navam

April 7, 2017 – Kamada Ekadashi

 April 11, 2017 – Hanuman Jayanti, Chaitra Purnima

April 14, 2017- Mesha Sakranti, Baisakh/ Bohag Bihu/ Vishu/ Pahela      Baisakh (New year for Punjab, Assam, Kerala & West Bengal)

April 22, 2017- Varuthini Ekadashi

April 28, 2017- Parashurama Jayanti, Akshaya Tritiya

Hindu festivals 2017- May

May 6, 2017- Mohini Ekadashi

May 9, 2017 – Narasimha Jayanti

May 22, 2017- Apara Ekadashi

May 25, 2017- Shani Jayanti

Hindu festivals 2017 – June

 June 5, 2017 – Nirjala Ekdashi

June 20, 2017- Yogini Ekadashi

June 25, 2017 – Jagannath Rathyatra

Hindu festivals 2017 – July

 July 4, 2017- Devshayani Ekadashi

 July 9, 2017 – Guru Purnima

 July 19, 2017- Kamika Ekadashi

July 27, 2017- Nag Panchami

Hindu festivals in August 2017

August 3, 2017 – Shravana Putrada Ekadashi

August 7, 2017- Raksha Bandhan

August 14/15, 2017 – Janmashtami

August 18, 2017- Aja Ekadashi

August 25, 2017 – Ganesh Chaturthi

Hindu festivals in September 2017

September 2, 2017- Parsva Ekadashi

September 4, 2017 – Onam

September 5, 2017 – Anant Chaturdashi/ Ganpati Visarjan

September 16, 2017- Indira Ekadashi

September 21, 2017- Navratri Begins

September 28, 2017 – Durga Ashtami

September 29, 2017- Maha Navami

September 30, 2017- Dusshera, Vijayadashami

Hindu festivals in October 2017

October 1, 2017- Papankusha Ekadashi

October 5, 2017- Kojagari Purnima, Sharad Purnima, Ashwin Purnmia

October 8, 2017- Karwa Chauth

October 12, 2017- Ahoi Ashtami

October 15, 2017- Rama Ekadashi

October 17, 2017- Dhanteras, Tula Samkranti

October 19, 2017- Diwali, Lakshmi Puja

October 20, 2017- Gowardhan Puja

October 26, 2017- Chatth Puja

October 31, 2017- Devdutthana Ekadashi

Hindu festivals in November 2017

November 1, 2017- Tulsi Vivah

November 4, 2017- Karthik Purnima

November 10, 2017- Kal Bhairav Jayanti

November 14, 2017- Utpanna Ekadashi

November 30, 2017- Mokshada Ekadasi, Gita Jayanti

Hindu festivals in December 2017

December 3, 2017- Sri Dattatreya Jayanti

December 13, 2017- Saphala Ekadashi

December 29, 2017- Pausha Putrada Ekadashi

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