Did you know that Holi is a festival of 9 days and not one? And the first eight days do not celebrate anything but are rather considered to be inauspicious. According to the Purnimant calendar followed in North India, Holashtak starts from the ‘Ashtami’ that is the 8th day of ‘Krishna Paksha’ and continues till the ‘Purnima’ of the ‘Falgun’ month. When it reaches to its last day, that is Falgun Purnima, people celebrate the major Holi festival that is Holika Dahan.
Significance Of Holashtak
Holashtak is considered to be very inauspicious in many parts of the country. Hence, auspicious ceremonies like marriages, housewarming, thread ceremony, child naming and much more are never conducted in these days. It is believed that during these 8 days before Holi, the planets take transformation hence putting a very negative impact on the lives of people. The most astonishing part of these days is that, the negative powers prevail so much within the atmosphere that Sadhna for Tantric Vidhya related activities become extremely successful.
Rituals Of Holashtak
Holashhtak encounters the rituals which try to remove the negative impacts.
- People decorate the branch of a tree using colorful pieces of clothes. Each individual ties a piece of cloth on the branch and it is then finally buried in the ground. Few communities even burn these pieces of clothes during Holika Dahan. These threads are believed to absorb the negative energies and protect us.
- On each day of Holashtak people collect small sticks of wood which signify negative powers. These wood sticks are put to burn on the fire on the day of Holika Dahan.
- Performing social activities like offering donations or giving Daan to the needy is also considered auspicious. It is believed that generous donation of clothes, food, money and other essential stuffs will bring in luck.
- When the period of Holashtak starts, people wash their homes with Gangajal and clean the house. This is said to remove the negativities of any such existence.