The festival of Holi is held in the month of February every year. It is also known as the festival of colors where people color each other with the help of dry colored powders or colored water. It is also called the festival of love where people forget their enmities and rebuild their relationships with each other. The end of winter and the arrival of spring are welcomed by Hindus all over the world through this festival. The festival has spread among other communities also and also to other countries like Europe and North America where everybody enjoys the proceedings greatly.
Legendary significance of festival
Legend says that the demon king Hiranyakashipu was blessed with a boon from Lord Brahma of indestructibility. It made him arrogant, and he started to think of himself as being a god. He wanted everybody to worship him instead of other gods and goddesses. Everybody did except his own son Prahlad who was a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu was very angry with his son and put him through a lot of cruel and punishing events to wean him away from Lord Vishnu but failed in his objective.
Finally Holika, Hiranyakashipu’s sister, used her wiles to fool Prahlad to sit by her on a wooden pyre and then set it aflame. She wore a cloak that would save her from the fire but not Prahlad, who did not wear one. With the intervention of Lord Vishnu, the cloak came off from around Holika and wrapped Prahlad instead. Prahlad was saved while Holika perished. The ash from this fire signifies the victory of good over evil and people started putting this ash on their foreheads. Later on colored powders came into use, and the present form of the festival uses powder with a large variety of colors.