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Dol Purnima 2022: Date, Story, Rituals, and Significance

Dol Purnima 2022 Date - Friday, 18 March
Tithi: Phalguna Purnima

Dol Purnima is a festival dedicated to Lord Sri Krishna, which is celebrated on the full moon day of Hindu month Phalguna. On this day, an idol of Krishna is smeared with Abir powder, and the same is adorned with flowers and taken out in procession in a palanquin which is also decorated with flowers and colorful clothes. The festival, ‘Dol Jatra’, ‘Dol Utsav’ or ‘Dol Purnima is also celebrated as the birthday of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This celebration takes place mostly in Bengal, Puri, Mathura, and Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh.


People wake up in the morning, take a bath and offer prayers to Krishna after the day of Holika Dahan. They play Abir after the color red is smeared on the idol of Krishna. Everyone gets indulged in the merry-making by singing and dancing to the accompaniment of instruments like ektara, veena, etc, and welcome spring with arms wide open. The head of the family also observes fast.  


According to Vaishnava Theology, Hiranyakashipu, the great king of demons, was blessed with a boon by Brahma that made him almost impossible to be killed. He managed to get himself bestowed with a boon because of his long dedicated penance. According to the boon, Hiranyakashipu would not be killed “During day or night, neither on earth nor in the sky, neither by a man nor by any animal, neither by ashtra nor by shastra”. As a result of the boon, He grew arrogant by the day and he claimed power and attacked the heavens. He terrorized the people worshiping God and instead asked them to worship him. 

However, to his dismay, Prahlad, Hiranyakashipu’s son worshipped Lord Vishnu and he was an ardent devotee. This angered Hiranyakashipu and he ordered to kill his son. All the attempts to kill Prahlad failed big time and in the last attempt, Hiranyakashipu ordered Prahlada to sit on a pyre on Holika, Hiranyakashipu’s sister’s lap who had a boon. As per the boon, she would never get burnt, But to everyone’s disbelief, Holika died in that fire while Prahlada was left unharmed. At last, appeared from one of the pillars of the court Lord Narasimha. He was half man and the half lion and killed Hiranyakashiou with his claws by tearing his chest apart at dusk on the steps of his porch by putting him on the Lord’s lap. Holi is celebrated as the burning of Holika.

However, In Vrindavan and Mathura, people celebrate Holi for 16 days until Rangapanchami to commemorate Radha’s unconditional love for Krishna. 


The celebration of modern Holi can be traced back to ancient Bengal where people went to Krishna temples and applied the color red to the idol. People played Abir. The color red signifies passion and Lord Krishna is well known for his passion and desire. The ritual of burning wood and leaves in some cultures signifies the end of winter and the onset of Spring. With the burning of wood and leaves, Holika Dahan is associated today. 

Today, it is an amalgamation of various cultures coming together and celebrating a common cause, the unity of a secular state. Holi is not only confined to the Hindus or the Bengalis or the residents of Vrindavan and Mathura but throughout the country and as well as in some parts of the world, Holi, the festival of color is celebrated in a dignified manner. 

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