Phulera dooj is a beautiful ceremony mostly celebrated in the northern parts of India on the Dwitiya tithi of Shukla paksha or the bright phase of the moon in the month of Phalgun according to traditional Hindu calendar or February March according to the Gregorian calendar.
Phulera Dooj is a colorful ceremony which falls between Vasant Panchami and Holi. It is observed with great revelry in the temples of Lord Krishna and with exuberance and happiness in the Sri Krishna Temple in Mathura and Sri Radha Vallabh Temple in Vrindavan.
This is a festival which symbolizes that Lord Krishna too is preparing for the impending festival of Holi, which is considered to be associated with colors. Therefore Phulera Dooj in a way heralds the upcoming festival of color – Holi.
Phulera Dooj, arrives from the Hindi word Phool which means flowers. This is a festival where people play with colorful flowers. The devotees take part in many beautiful rituals on this day and the temples too are bedecked with flowers. The Krishna idols are beautifully decorated with special clothing and ornate jewelries. Some abir or gulal or holi color is smeared on the face of Sri Krishna.
In the Braj regions, Lord Krishna is clothed in white costumes and a piece of cloth is tied to the deity’s waist containing gulal (special powdered form of color used for festivities). This piece of cloth containing the gulal is removed from his waist only after the festivities of the day are all over. Bhajans or religious songs singing the praise of the Lord Sri Krishna, and denoting his childhood are sung on this day and various sweet delicacies are offered to the Lord as prasads. At the end of this ceremony, priests sprinkle colors of gulal on the devotees signifying the relationship of love and affection between the Lord and his ardent devotees.
The day of Phulera Dooj is considered to be an extremely auspicious occasion. In fact, it is considered auspicious enough where the time and muhurtas are not calculated to conduct an important ceremony such as marriage. However, there are debates regarding the authenticity of this claim. But some communities do choose to perform marriage rituals on this day.
The best ways to celebrate and observe Phulera Dooj is to simply worship Lord Krishna at home and smear gulal on his face, then offer some simple sweet dishes as prasads.
The festival of Phulera Dooj signifies the love and devotion between the Lord and his devotees and is the harbinger of the festival of color Holi. Thus celebrate the day with happiness, devotion and start any auspicious venture if desirous.