Holika ka Dahan City Palace Udaipur

By Maharana of MewarCharitableFou purva.bhatia@eternalmewar.in | 2018

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1. Holika Dahan Ceremony was celebrated at The Manek Chowk of the City Palace Udaipur. Holi, is celebrated at the end of Phalgun Poornima (the full moon day of the lunar month); a time when the seasons change; when winter gives way to spring. Family members of the House of Mewar participate in function. Haystack along with firewood is used for the Holika Dahan.

2. Holi is celebrated over 2 days, the first day being Holika Dahan. Second day when gulal or coloured powder signifying the hues of spring is sprinkled liberally on friends and family. Symbolically, Holi is the triumph of divine power over demonic strength. Or good over evil. Cow dung cakes are hung on the Holika as her Arm-lets.

3. Holika Dahan religious rituals are in progress. Centre of picture is Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur, on his right is Maharanai Vijayraj Kumari Mewar of Udaipur, on Shriji’s left is Rajkunwarani Padmaja Kumari of Santrampur, then Maharaj Kunwarani Nivritti Kumari Mewar of Udaipur, On extreme right of picture is Maharaj Kumar Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar of Udaipur.

4. A guests offering pranams to Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar. The function also has a colourful procession with marching bands, Palace Guards, Six in Hand English Landau (Horse Carriage) and display of Mewar`s pageantry etc.

5. Shriji family right of picture with City Palace in the background.

6. Holika Dahan ceremony in progress. Holika is draped in an ‘Odhani’.

7. Shriji family have a green colour branch in their hand. It is a ‘Khanda’ a stick in place of a sword with Wheat kernels, they are from the new harvest.

8. The ceremonies and religious rites culminate in the lighting of the pious fire of Holika Dahan. "During Holi the whole purpose is to behave in such a way as to bring down those walls in ourself and others and let go. Suddenly there is no difference between us and others. We slip into a state of oneness in which everyone is equal. This is the special beauty of Holi."

9. Family members offer circumambulation to the Holika. "Worship of fire is also an important part of Holika Dahan as in this process we offer our vasanas to Agni in order to transcend them eventually. The next morning the ashes from the bonfire are collected as prasad (consecrated material) and smeared on the limbs of the body."

10. Musical and dance performance by Guru Smt. Geetanjali Lal and Group from New Delhi. Pictures are courtesy the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, Udaipur.

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