The vibrant and colorful festival of Holi is really close and the preparations and celebrations are already at its high pace. With the increased craze and unity of diverse cultures, this festival is not only popular among Hindus but also among non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as in parts of Europe and North America.
Celebrations, however, start with a Holika Pujan on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. This puja is a very significant part of the whole festival. Although it is usually associated with the bon-fire or Holika Dahan in the late pre-evening of Holi, it starts way before.
Focusing at the scientific importance of Holika Dahan, it is vital for cleansing the bacteria and germs generated in the mutation period of winter and spring. The high temperature while burning the woods i.e. almost 145 degrees Fahrenheit removes the harmful germs and bacteria from the atmosphere and also from our bodies when we revolve around it. It is the period when people feel lethargic and drowsy. Holi provides them the opportunity to wear off their laziness, by enjoying themselves thoroughly.
On this occasion, burning the Holika signifies an end to all the evil thoughts and getting rid of all the sins. Thus, at this time, if you ask for any good things while mother Holika is burning then they will come true. Various Indian cultures even consider it to be integral in the form of long-life of the husband and a prosperous married life. Not only this, the left over ashes from the dahan if collected by people on the next day constitutes of the actual holi-prasad and smearing it on limbs of the body purifies and heals them.
Thus apart from colors and fun filled-frolic celebrations, Holi and its traditions hold lot more for us.