Holika Dahan is the first day of the popular Indian festival of colours called Holi. On this day a pious fire is lit on the full moon night of Phalguna (one of the 12 months of the Hindu calendar). According to Hindu mythology, it demonstrates the triumph of divine power over demonic strength.
The Holika Dahan Ceremony held at The City Palace, Udaipur, witnesses a magnificent palace procession, observe royal etiquette and ritual as you look upon the royal parade in their traditional attire-finely liveried palace staff, elegantly bedecked horses and the impeccably turned out band that leads the cavalcade through the Palace from the Royal residence to Manek Chowk. After the religious ceremonies, as twilight descends, You can look forward to the lighting of a traditional sacred fire where an effigy of the fraudulent Holika is burnt.
The Manek Chowk, The City Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India, 313001
Holika Dahan Ceremony - 2021
A time-honoured Regal Ceremony
'Holi', one of the most popular of Indian festivals, is celebrated when winter gives way to spring. Holika Dahan is the festival's first day when the pious fire is lit on the full moon night of Phalguna (one of the 12 months of the Hindu calendar). The effigy of 'Holika' is then lit after ritual prayer followed by local people doing the 'Gair', a traditional folk dance performed specially on the occasion.
Mr. Bhupendra Singh Auwa
What Guests sayWe are Lucas and Lisa from Austria and the first time in and first time in this event. Really enjoyed the experience really some new stuff and all over a great experience in India and to be on this Holi Festival Event.
Lucas and Lisa from Austria
What Guests sayHi, we priety and Alisa we are from Germany, Munich and we came here to Udaipur to join in the Holi celebration with royal family and it’s been absolutely stunning, it was so great to see that the family is preserving all the tradition and the celebrating them and allowing all us tourist to join in and sitting above them and watching them and their family circle. Getting blessing for the new granddaughter and it has been absolutely amazing and we are so glad that we are here for experiencing this. THANK YOU
Priety and Alisa from Germany
WHAT GUESTS SAYMy name is James and this is my daughter Alison this is our first visit to this festival and it is absolutely marvelous and we have enjoyed ourselves immensely, the pageantry is wonderful. The setting is absolutely beautiful as well and everyone is been very welcoming and it has been a great first experience to understand what the festival is all about. Thank you very much for a Pleasant evening. HAPPY HOLI!!!
James and Alison
Holika Dahan festival is representative of our vision of Eternal Mewar which is facilitating the preservation of the living heritage of Mewar in the twenty-first century
Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar
Faag Festival in Mewar
Basant Panchmi is the beginning of Fagotsav. In Mewar, Basant Panchmi is celebrated very pompously. Traditionally, the Maharana and his nobles wore a shade of yellow attire. The court was held in the Rajmahal and the court poets recited poems on Basant Utsav in front of the Maharana. After the court, Maharana used to start playing faag (Colors) from this day. As per the rituals, Shree Sarswati Pujan would be held in the Zenana Mahal, Rajmahal Udaipur. The Maharana of Mewar would firstly visit Shree Jagannathrai ji temple and play Faag. Later, the Maharana would visit the temples of Shree Pitambarai ji, Shree Bannathji and Shree Parmeshwaraji (Eklingnathji) and play Faag. In the early evening, Maharana would reach Chaugan in a procession, and a Durbar would be held there.
Parmeshwaraji Maharaj Shree Eklingnathji's is the true ruler of Mewar, with its temple at Kailashpuri. It is the Mewar family's deity and the Maharanas of Mewar ruled as the custodian of Shree Eklingnath ji.
Shivratri is the most celebrated festival at this temple and every Maharana visited the temple on this day. The Maharanas of Mewar used to donate to the temple on this occasion and played Faag (with colours). Special ornamentations continue to be sent from the Palace for this festival. The hooded-snake on top of the ling indicates the special 'Shringar' of Mahashivratri.
The flag was installed on Holi festival. Maharana would get dressed up and sit on the gaddi in Choti Chitrashali and local folk dance was performed in his presence. On the auspicious day of Holika Dahan, Falgun Purnima every year the Maharana of Mewar would play Faag (holi) at Baadi Mahal with his nobles in the morning, later the celebration was organised at Manek (Bada) Chowk where the Maharana and his nobles while mounted on elephants/horses would play Faag. Then, they would carry out a procession in the city, which would end at Navlakha Mahal, Sajjan Niwas Bagh (now Gulab Bagh) where a feast was held. The Maharana would visit Shree Pitambaraiji temple and return to Palace. In the evening, a Durbar was organised at Naginabadi. The Maharana used to do Pooja at Zenana Mahal and the small Holika Dahan ceremony would be performed in Moti Chowk for the zenana ladies. After this, Holika Dahan was organised at Manek Chowk, where the Maharana would perform the ceremony with his nobles and do Parikrama of the Holika.
The Maharana on Dhulandi, would play Faag in the Palace. Traditionally Prahlad-Charitra, a Hindu scripture related to the story of Bhakt Prahlad and killing of demon Holika would be recited, after which they would leave for hunting. This tradition started after the demise of Maharana Udai Singh II on the day of Holika Dahan in Mewar as Maharana Pratap went for hunting after the funeral on Dhulandi that year.
Jamra Beej, a festival two days after Holi is celebrated. Maharana would sit in the Naharon ka Darikhana after playing faag. Then, Gair would be performed by the people of Salvi, Koli and Jat caste. Ladies from the Zenana would in full ornamentation used to gather the ashes of Holika Dahan and make holy structures to worship. They would at this moment use abusive words, all in amusement and sing songs related to Holi. Then, the Maharana would mount a horse and goes to Ganesh Ghati to witness the festival of Illaji a semi – god. A puppet would be carved and a designated cobbler used to make jewelry for the puppet out of leather. Then, the Maharana would give reward to the cobbler and after witnessing the dance of the dancing girls returned and hold a Durbar at the palace.
Maharana would hold the Durbar at Naharon ka Darikhana. Gair from different nearby villages mainly Sisarama, Bujada,Sunderwas and Payeda was performed at the Manek Chowk after which they would receive reward from the Maharana.
Maharana would hold the Durbar at Naharon ka Darikhana. Gair from different nearby villages mainly Amberi, Bhuwana, Kaladwas, Badi, Badgaon, Gurdi was performed at the Manek Chowk along with the Gair of Teli caste, after which they would receive reward from the Maharana.
The Maharana on Rang Panchmi would first visit the Shree Jagannathrai (Jagdish) temple and played faag. Then the Maharana would play Faag at Raj Ghat and Jagniwas.
On Shitla Saptami, which is celebrated on Tithi Ashtmi in Mewar, the Maharana after holding Durbar at Samore Bagh would go for Poojan at Shitla Mata temple outside the Palace. After the Poojan, the Maharana would feast at the house of the Prime Minister along with other nobles and then would proceed to Saheliaon ki Badi and there in the pond played with color.
Maharana would play Holi with color on the boat. Then, the Maharana would go towards Gangore Ghat and then to the temple of Mohan Mandir to see the fireworks. Fire-works were displayed and guns-salutes were given on Rang Teras. Maharana would then hold Durbar at Jagniwas.