With its rich traditional and cultural heritage, Indians are bound to be celebrating some festival every month or so. One such festival is Holi, a fun, colorful and inclusive festival.
If someone was to ask me, to name my favorite festival, it would be Holi without any doubt. I have lovely childhood memories of playing Holi and my parents and grandparents telling me about the various Holi stories and traditions. And now as a parent myself, I love passing on these stories and traditions to my boys.
- Legend of Prahlad
There are myriad legends associated with Holi, the most popular one is the legend of Prahlad and Hiranyakashyap.
Legend has it that Hiranyakashyap was a powerful Asura (demon) king and had gained a boon of immortality. He wanted to be worshipped by all. But his own son Prahlad was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. This infuriated Hiranyakashyap. He tried to kill his own son by many cruel means but was unsuccessful. Finally, he sought the help of his evil sister ‘Holika’. Holika had a cloak which made her immune to injury from fire. She tricked Prahlad into entering a bonfire with her. As the fire roared, the cloak slipped from Holika’s shoulder to Prahlad’s. Holika got burnt to death, while Prahlad came out of it unscathed. Thus, started the ritual of Holika Dahan, Holika bonfire, signifying victory of good over evil.