Dhuleti Holi, the Hindu festival marked by colors, fun and gaiety, falls on the day after full moon day in the month of Phalgun (February – March). Dhuleti 2016 date is March 24 (some regions it will be observed on March 23 and 24) and is the day when people play with Holi colors. The first day of the festival is the Holika Dahan or lighting of bonfire and it is on March 22 in North India. Holika Dahan in western parts of India is on March 23.
The festival is largely associated with Lord Krishna. It is said that
Krishna in his childhood and teenage played Holi with his Gopas and Gopis.
Dhuleti Holi celebrations begin on Rang Pashi, three days earlier to Holika Dahan. All family members gather at home; and gulal is sprinkled on all by the eldest family member. Women wear their special Holi dandia saris.
On the Purnima day is the Holika Dahan and bonfires are lit on this day. The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad had when Demon Holika carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu, escaped without any injuries.
The next day is Dhuleti or Parva. People visit homes of relatives, friends neighbors and play Holi with colors.
Gulal made up of colors likes pink, magenta, red, yellow and green are an indispensable part of Dhuleti Holi. Tesu, or ‘flame of the forest,’ the flower of the Palash tree is another important material used. Dried Tesu flowers when mixed water creates a beautiful saffron-reddish color. It is said that
Krishna played Holi with a pichkaris (a brass syringe which sprays water).