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Jaipur gears to celebrate Holika Dahan with fervour and merriment
Jaipur will be observing Holika Dahan - the lighting of bonfires - today in the evening on the eve of Holi on March 16 to celebrate the victory of good over evil. Among the residents, the day is also popularly known as Chhoti Holi since the bigger event of playing around with the colours takes place on the next day.

In the City Palace complex of Jaipur, Holika Dahan is going to be celebrated with great fervour. However, the Elephant Festival usually held on the day of Holika Dahan, has been cancelled due the stiff opposition of the animal welfare activists. But, every nook and corner of Jaipur will have bonfires and joyous celebration on the eve of Holi today evening.

Holika Dahan is an extremely popular tradition in Jaipur and is celebrated with fervour all across the city. The common legend is that on this day Bhagat Prahlad won over his evil aunt 'Holika'. It is believed that mighty demon king Hiranyakashyap instructed his sister, Holika to sit in the burning fire with defiant son Bhagat Prahlad in her lap who was blessed with a boon that no fire could burn her. But the opposite happened, Prahlad survived and Holika was charred to death.

Also, in the bonfire, people fry cereals or parched grains called 'Holka' and apply sacred ashes of the ritual on their foreheads to keep away evil. Also, on the day of Holi, some people apply ashes from the bonfire on the limbs of the body before playing with Holi colours.

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