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Masan Holi 2024 : Know About This Unique Celebration Of Varanasi Masan Holi

Masan Holi 2024 : Holi, celebrated as the festival of colors and love, is a cherished occasion across India, uniting communities in joyous revelry. It’s a time for friends and family to gather, exchanging playful splashes of vibrant hues and relishing sweet treats. This annual festival marks the onset of spring and, in many regions, commemorates the timeless love tale of Radha and Krishna.

Yet, in Varanasi, Holi holds a profound significance intertwined with reverence for Lord Shiva. The city observes three distinct variations of Holi: the conventional celebration, Rangbhari Ekadashi, and Masan ki Holi (also known as Bhasm Holi), each highlighting Varanasi’s rich cultural heritage alongside the nationwide festivities.

Know abut Masan Holi

Following Rangbhari Ekadashi, devotees of Lord Shiva in Varanasi partake in a unique tradition known as Masan or Bhasma Holi. This ritual, steeped in ancient customs, unfolds at the Manikarnika Ghat, where participants engage in a distinctive celebration believed to involve Lord Shiva playing Holi with pyre ashes.

According to Dhwani Astro, on the second day of Rangbhari Ekadashi, Lord Shiva, accompanied by his divine entourage, descends upon the Manikarnika Ghat. There, he bestows blessings upon devotees and joins in the joyous festivities of Holi, using ash as a symbolic substitute for colored powder, known as Gulaal Swarup. This ash is revered as a representation of purity and devoutness towards Lord Shiva.

Legend has it that initially, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati celebrated Holi with other deities on Rangbhari Ekadashi following their divine union. However, as certain supernatural beings favored by Lord Shiva, such as ghosts and vampires, abstain from participating in the festival, he returns to the Masan Ghat the following day. There, Lord Shiva joyously engages in playing Holi with these beings, symbolizing his boundless acceptance and love for all creatures.

significance of Masan Holi

The significance of Masan Holi in 2024 is profound. During Bhasma Holi, devotees and priests congregate at various temples and ashrams across Varanasi to partake in the festivities. The celebration commences with a magnificent aarti ceremony at the Masaan temple near Manikarnika Ghat, infusing the atmosphere with fervent devotion as devotees ritually anoint the Shivling with ashes. The ashes used during Bhasma Holi are traditionally gathered from the cremation grounds, symbolizing the cyclical nature of life, death, and rebirth.

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