Today, 20 March 2013, Holashtak begins. Holashtak is a period of eight inauspicious days prior to Holi festival as per North Indian Hindi calendars.
During this period, no auspicious event is celebrated in North Indian states like Punjab, Haryana, Himachal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, etc.
On the first day of Holashtak, the picking and storing of the wood and other material for Holika Dahan is started. The place for Holika Dahan is also selected this day and the stored material is brought here.