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HomeExpositionsRitualsHolashtak: Advice for pre-Holi 8-day period when planets turn malefic

Holashtak: Advice for pre-Holi 8-day period when planets turn malefic

Beginning an auspicious task or conducting a ceremony during Holashtak often results in obstacles and hindrances, which is why these dos and don'ts must be adhered to

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The Holashtak period, which commences on 17 March and concludes on 25 March this year, is an eight-day duration that initiates eight days before the Hindu festival of Holi. This period is identified by the timeframe from Phalguna Shukla Ashtami to Phalguna Purnima.

In Vedic astrology, it is believed that all eight planets turn malefic during Holashtak. Consequently, the planetary alignments during this time are deemed unfavourable for auspicious undertakings. It is thought that commencing any auspicious tasks or ceremonies during this period often results in obstacles and hindrances. For instance, some assert that no auspicious work should be undertaken during this time.

The customs and observances of Holashtak may vary based on individual beliefs and local traditions. Different communities may associate this period with diverse interpretations and practices. Several religious and auspicious activities are advised against during this time, and many individuals may not be aware of these restrictions.

For those unaware, Swadharma provides guidelines to help avoid these activities to prevent unfavourable outcomes:

Dos and Don’ts during Holashtak


  1. Engage in spiritual and religious activities during these days.
  2. Worshiping Vishnu during Holashtak is highly beneficial.
  3. Conduct or attend a BhagavadGita Path.
  4. Reciting Vishnu Sahasranama during this period is also considered highly rewarding.
  5. Performing havan/homa on completing Vishnu/Satyanarayana/Krishna puja during these days is advantageous.
  6. Donate old clothes and slippers to those in need.
  7. Cleanse the household as well as the puja room daily to eliminate any negative energies.
  8. Conducting specific pujas can address health concerns, eliminate hurdles, and bring about the fulfilment of desired aspirations.
  9. Reciting mantras during this time can also be advantageous for individuals seeking the blessings of Vishnu.


  1. Refrain from initiating a new business venture during this period.
  2. Avoid cutting your hair and trimming your nails during Holashtak.
  3. Major celebrations, rituals, and weddings are typically postponed during Holashtak.
  4. Purchasing clothes and jewellery is prohibited during Holashtak.
  5. Mundan ceremony, naming ceremony, and griha pravesh are considered inauspicious during this period.
  6. Refrain from sex throughout Holashtak.
  7. Consumption of Tamasik ingredients like garlic, onion, eggs, and meat is not allowed.

Mantras to chant during Holashtak

ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय

SrimadBhagavatam and Vishnu Purana

हरे राम हरे राम राम राम हरे हरे
हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे

From Kali-Santarana Upanisad [Iskcon followers chant the second line first, against the practice by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu whom they claim to follow.


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