A Photo Essay on the Ritual of Holika Dahan on the Choti Holi day (one day prior to Dhuleti/Dhulendi/Color Day/Dhuli Vandana) :-
8 March 2012:
On the Phalgun Purnima or the full moon night of the Hindu calendar month of Phalgun,
A bonfire is made up of dried leaves, logs of wood, old wooden furniture, cardboard and other combustible material piled up in a heap.
People of the society and nearby areas come together to be a part of the tradition. Somewhere at around 9 PM in the dark of the night, the bonfire is ceremoniously ignited brightly illuminating the entire arena.
Incense sticks and oil lamps are lighted, offerings of new seasonal grains like wheat and barley are made.
The fire, an image of success of good over evil, is then circumambulated three times with slow pouring of water from a container.
Prayers for peace, happiness, prosperity and a better future are made.
Past animosities are buried; hatred and anger give way to new hopes, wishes and aspirations. It's a silent tranquil time... time to reflect and delve deep... within..
Sacred ash and coconuts are collected as prasad marking the culmination of an age old tradition – Holika Dahan;
... the holiness from the billowing fumes continue to linger around till the next festival year.
--- HAPPY HOLI ---
If you wish to read more on the festival of colors - Holi in detail, kindly check out this link -