Masan Holi is a unique Holi of playing with the ashes from lit funeral pyres.

Masan Holi 2024
Boy dressed as Shiva in Masan Holi ; source : wikimedia commons

Namaste!

Welcome to the world of resolute readings at www.onindianpath.com. Today, I am going to share insights of Masan Holi 2024 in this blog.

Introduction

Masan Holi is unique kind of Holi is celebrated only at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Apparently, Varanasi is also known as city of Moksha. Additionally, Masan Holi symbolizes a connection with the cycle of life and death.

As,we all know that Holi is the festival of colours, happiness and renewal. While, Masan Holi is a distinctive way to celebrate death with ashes, colours and Damru.

Infact, people from all over the world come to Banaras to witness this distinctive and memorable Holi of Masan.

Date of Masan Holi 2024

Indeed, Masan Holi will be celebrated on the 21st March, 2024. This falls on the day after Rang Bhari Ekadashi.

Why is it called Masan Holi?

Masan Holi
Masan Holi 2024 ; source : wikimedia commons

Although, we all know that Holi is the festival of colours and love. According to legends, we celebrate the bond and love of Divine pair of Shri Radha and Shri Krishna. Whereas, Masan Holi celebrates the death. Masan is the Hindi word for Crematorium.

Meanwhile, after gauna of Mata Parwati, Lord Shiva went to the land of his Ganas and Bhut Pretas at cremation ground to celebrate their happiness. They smeared themselves with ashes from the burning pyres along with Hindu god Mahadev. From then after, Masan holi is celebrated.

Significance of Masan Holi

However, Masan Holi signifies the contradictory nature of celebrations. At one place, we have Rang Bhari Ekadashi, celebrating the divine union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parwati. While, at Masan Holi, we have celebrations from the ashes of cremation ground.

How is Masan Holi is celebrated?

However, this unusual Holi is played at the cremation grounds of Manikarnika ghat and Harishchand ghat of river Ganga. All the nagas, sadhus, aghoris and local people gather at these ghats and play Holi with the ashes of burning pyres. Earlier, it was restricted to sadhus, nagas and aghoris only , but three decades ago, it was allowed for common man too.

Likewise, Masan ki Holi starts with aarti at Mahashamshan nath temple situated in Manikarnika ghat at 10 am. Thenafter, devotees smear the Shivlinga with ashes from the burned pyres. Not only this, one can feel the pulse and vibration of celebration withthe roaring sound of damru( a musical instrument played by Lord Shiva). And end up with mahaarti of Mahashamsan nath and devi masan Kali at 12 pm.

Moreovee, people dress up as Lord Shiva all wrapped in tiger skin with Mundmala dances and plays with ashes. The surroundings are full of ashes, thundering sound of Damru and cananbin (bhang).

Conclusion

Lastly, I would like to conclude my blog by saying Hinduism is a rich way of living, full of unique and memorable traditions. We live in a culture where we celebrate the beginning and most essential element of life – love. On the other hand, on the same day, we celebrate death to get rid of worldly attachments. Come to Varanasi on March 21, 2024, to celebrate the transformative power of renewal and regeneration of life.

Wish you a blessed day ahead.

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