Holi is a festival of colors and is awaited with a lot of excitement by all. But, very few of us know that it gets 8 long dark days along with it. Only after those 8 days pass, then can Holi come with its beauty.
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 its last day, that is Falgun Purnima, people celebrate the major Holi festival that is Holika Dahan.
In 2018 Holashtak will start on 23rd February and will continue till Holi ka Dahan on 1st March. Any kind of auspicious work is strictly prohibited during this time period. It is believed that any auspicious work done during this period will give back exactly the opposite results. Only one thing done on Holashtak can give you positive results and that is daan (donation of money and food to the poor).
Why is Holashtak so inauspicious?
According to mythology Lord Shiva had cursed the God of Love – Lord Kamadeva and turned him into ashes on Phalguna month of Ashtami Tithi. It is said that these are the 8 days when Goddess Rati was praying Lord Shiva with severe penance, and hence no auspicious work can be done. Later Lord Shiva had given back life too Kamdeva which is celebrated by playing colors.
Significance Of Holashtak? Not exactly!
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.
When researched scientifically, the evidence found does prove that these days won’t provide positive energies to your tasks. In these 8 days, planets like Sun, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Moon and more undergo transformations.
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 stuff 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.
- At that place dried cow dung cakes, dried wood and grass and a stick of Holi is placed.
Make sure that you never perform any auspicious task or ritual on these particular 8 days. Also, follow the above given rituals to ward off negative energies.