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Choosing the Right Fragrance for Your Holi Celebration

Every Indian festival is incomplete without the sacred act of puja, a symbolic expression of devotion to the Gods. An inseparable part of every puja is burning incense sticks or agarbatti, whose fragrances help to connect with the Gods

Similarly, even the festival of colours, Holi, can’t be separated from this sacred practice. Amid the joy and excitement of celebrating Holi, the aroma of incense sticks help to establish a profound connection with the Gods and help to ward off evil forces. 

Before we dive deep into the profound connection between incense sticks and their fragrance with Holi celebrations, let’s see why Holi is celebrated.

Why is Holi Celebrated?

According to Hindu legends, Holi is celebrated for 2 main reasons: to commemorate the eternal and divine love of Radha and Lord Krishna and the victory of Lord Vishnu as Narasimha over Hiranyakashipu, signifying the triumph of good over evil.

Apart from this, it is celebrated for cultural reasons as well. It marks the end of winter and the arrival of spring, a season of joy and hope. It also helps to strengthen the bonds of family and friends by offering a sense of togetherness and community.

The Connection Between Holi Celebration With Colours and Fragrances  

connection between holi and colours

On the day of Holi, we smear each other’s faces with colours to commemorate the divine love of Radha and Lord Krishna. As per a popular legend, Lord Krishna was in despair, thinking whether fair-skinned Radha would like a guy of colour. His mother, Yashoda, couldn’t see her child in despair and motivated him to approach her and ask her to put colour on his face, whichever colour she liked. This was the starting point of their immortal love story. Colours represent the force that united them, so the act of playing with colours holds much importance in Holi's celebration.

A day before Holi, we light a bonfire, symbolising the victory of good over evil. This ritual is the outcome of a legend in the Bhagavata Purana, which narrates the tale of Hindu God Vishnu’s devotee Prahlada and his aunt Holika. Prahlada’s aunt, Holika, tricked him into sitting on a burning pyre with her. While she was covered with a magical cloak that protected her, Prahlada was left with no protection until the cloak flew and covered him instead. That day, Holika burned in the fire, marking the victory of good over evil. So, the day before Holi, we celebrate Holi Dahan by lighting a bonfire and burning offerings like brown coconut, water, akshat, deep, agarbatti, dhoop, cotton thread, turmeric, kumkum, cow dung, logs of wood, flowers, gulal, moongdaal, and batasha or any other sweet.

Why You Must Burn Incense Sticks On Holika Dahan?

Without a doubt, incense sticks play an integral role in Indian spiritual and religious practices.  However, burning incense sticks or agarbatti on Holika Dahan may seem pointless to you, but in the eyes of the Gods, it holds great significance: 

1. Helps to keep away bad odours that attract evil spirits and demons.

It is believed that evil spirits and demons are attracted to bad odours. So, to ward them off, agarbattis are burned. Their fragrance has protective properties that have a profound impact on deviating evil spirits and demons. 

2. Fragrance guides the gods to the place of puja.

The pleasant fragrance from the burning of the agarbattis serves as a guide for the Gods, guiding them to the place of worship. The smoke is believed to carry the prayers of the devotees to the gods.   

3. The smell is pleasing to gods and deities.

Burning incense sticks is viewed as an offering to the Gods. The pleasant fragrance of the burning incense sticks is seen by the Gods as a token of respect, which pleases them greatly. 

4. Purifies the air with its fragrance.

The smoke and fragrance of agarbattis purify the air and create a peaceful and serene environment. This sort of environment promotes a sense of calmness and helps to focus, which is perfect for worshipping the Gods or spiritual practices.

Related: Spiritual Benefits of Incense Sticks Burning

Top 7 Fragrances for Holi Celebration

As discussed above, it is well-established that organic incense sticks or agarbattis have several spiritual properties; however, this fact hinges on its fragrances. Different fragrances are not merely for masking odour or impacting your psychological well-being, but they are also associated with different spiritual properties. So, consider your beliefs and practices when selecting the right fragrance for your Holi celebration. 

To help you choose, here is a list of the most amazing 7 fragrances for Holi celebration:

  1. Sandalwood (Chandan)

    Chandan has been used for a long time in the celebration of Holi, be it as a mark on the forehead (tilak) or part of Holi colours. One lesser-known use of it during Holika Dahan celebrations is burning its agarbatti as an offering. The musky scent of sandalwood incense sticks provides a strong sense of stability and security by driving away evil spirits and demons. It also helps with mental cleansing.

  2. Rose (Gulab)

    Holi is the celebration of the eternal love of Lord Krishna and Radha. For worshiping Lord Krishna, burning dhoop sticks that have the scent of red roses work better than anything else. The sweet and romantic fragrance of rose dhoop sticks has a special connection with the lord. Apart from pleasing the lord, it will purify the air with its fragrance too!

  3. Nagchampa

    The scent of nagchampa has often been associated with many spiritual practices. Burning it during Choti Holi purifies the atmosphere and wards off negative energies, evil spirits, and demons. Nagchampa incense sticks fragrance is pleasing to the Gods and guides them towards the place of puja. 

  4. Lavender

    While it is not traditionally connected with Holi celebrations, its light and subtle scent of lavender incense sticks still helps to create a protective atmosphere by removing bad odour and negative energy. It is also known to balance the 7 chakras and simulate the conscious mind with the third eye chakra.

  5. Patchouli

    The earthy smell of patchouli is believed to purify the environment’s energy. Patchouli incense sticks aids in creating a sacred atmosphere, welcoming the Gods and banishing the evil spirits. Its grounding scent promotes peace and love, which is pleasing to Lord Krishna. 

  6. Eucalyptus

    For creating a great spiritual connection with the Gods, eucalyptus is your best bet. When burnt, Eucalyptus incense sticks natural smell purifies the air of any negative energies that come in the way of your connection with the Gods. Its smoke carries your prayers and message to them.

  7. Citronella

    The citrus aroma is not usually associated with Holi celebrations due to a lack of knowledge about its spiritual properties. But citronella’s incense sticks scent can help create an incredible spiritual connection with the Gods and your higher self. It is also used for protection and cleansing negative energies.

Related: The Complete Incense Sticks Guide: Types, Benefits, and Usage


Holi, the festival of colours, is not merely a festival but an emotion that connects us profoundly to our rich cultural heritage and religious traditions. It is an occasion that marks the arrival of the spring and fills people with joy and excitement. As you immerse yourself in the vibrant spirit of Holi, explore our 'Holi Hamper collection' that encapsulate the essence of this joyous celebration. Additionally, make informed choices about the colours you use by visiting our blog on 'Organic Holi Colours vs Synthetic Colour' to ensure a harmonious and mindful festival experience.

An integral part of this celebration is burning offerings. Among these offerings, the significance of burning incense sticks or agarbattis during Holika Dahan goes beyond mere ritualistic practice. Its fragrances play a crucial role in repelling evil spirits, guiding gods to the place of worship, and offering them a pleasing scent. Remember that not all scents work the same way! So, consider their spiritual properties and then select accordingly.