Holashtak beginning 1st March 2012 is name used to refer to the eight days prior to Holi festival and is considered inauspicious in mythology.

In North India, Holashtak begins on the Phalgun Shukla Ashtami (eighth day during the waxing phase of moon in Falgun month) and ends on the Phalgun Purnima day (full moon day). The Purnima day is observed as Holika Dahan.

It is considered inauspicious to perform auspicious ceremonies during the period like marriage, housewarming or any of the sanskars. People also avoid starting of new business etc. The day is considered ideal for performing Dhaan – alms giving.

The difference between Holi and Diwali is that holi is observed in Uttarayana (the period with positive state of mind) and Diwali in Dakshinayana (the period with negative state of mind).

 In Holi we try making up with our enemies and in Diwali we only redefine our existing friendship.

 Holi means burning negativity in our mind and in the mind of our enemies. This can only happen in a period of positive state of mind (first six months of the year). The process of removing negativity requires multiple attempts. As per mythology it requires eight days ( or eight attempts) to remove the negative attitude of a person and hence the word Holasthak.

During the period one is trying to wash out the negativity, it is best to avoid calling people for community functions as in that case you will need to call the one with whom you are trying to patch up and the same may not be in sound frame of mind with you and you may end up with an uncomfortable situation.

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