Holi is one of the biggest festivals celebrated by the Hindus. It is a two-day festival. On the first day, in the night Holika Dahan takes place where a heap of wooden planks is burnt as a symbol of burning Holika.
According to Hindu mythology, Holika was the evil creature who wanted to kill Lord Vishnu's devotee Prahlad and he was saved by Lord Vishnu as he burnt Holika alive. This day is celebrated as the symbol of the good winning over the evil and also the triumph of a true devotee. Holika Dahan 2020 would be celebrated on March 9 this year.
Holika Dahan in Lucknow is all about an extravagant celebration. In Lucknow, there is an area called chowk in old Lucknow. The processions are taken out on camels here before the Holika Dahan. Petals of roses and marigolds are used to decorate the area. Thandai, a drink that is prepared with milk and dry fruits are served. The staple dessert of Holi that is gujiyas is served with other items like papad and fried snacks.
International Society For Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Khatu Shyam Temple, Aashiana Parivar, Mankameshwar Temple are some temples where you can visit during the time of Holi to witness the most famous 'Phoolon ki Holi' and also the Lathmar Holi.
The Holika Dahan preparation starts prior two-three days of the occasion. People decorate different areas where the 'Holi' is to be made and burnt later. On the day of Holika Dahan, women go to the Holi made with wooden planks and worship it by putting Haldi and Kumkum on it. They also tie a red sacred thread around the Holi as the symbol of protection so that the demons won’t escape when it is burnt.
The Holika Dahan puja is held before it is burnt. Later, the Holika Dahan takes place and the fire is considered a symbol of victory of good over the evil. Some people also take the embers from the fire to their homes to rekindle their own domestic fires.
The first preference to get Holika Dahan Muhurta is during Pradosh while Purnimasi Tithi is prevailing and Bhadra is over. If Bhadra prevails during Pradosh but it ends before midnight then Holika Dahan should be done after Bhadra is over. If Bhadra is getting over after midnight then only Holika Dahan should be done in Bhadra and preferably during Bhadra Punchha. However one should avoid Bhadra Mukha and in no condition, Holika Dahan should be done in Bhadra Mukha.