An Indian Hindu festival celebrated with an assortment of savoury
and sweet delicacies along with playing with powdered colours, water balloons
and guns, Holi will be celebrated on March 18 this year.

Holi is celebrated in the Phalguna month as per the Hindu calendar.
Holika Dahan is celebrated one day prior to Holi.

Also Read | Try these pre and post-Holi skincare tips for a carefree festival

History of Holi

As per Hindu mythology, Holi signifies the triumph of good over

Lord Vishnu’s devotee Prahlada was the son of King Hiranyakashipu. Through consistent praying and devotion, Hiranyakashipu was
granted a boon that gave him special powers. He could not be killed be killed
during the day or night; he could not be killed by an animal or a human; he
could not be projectile weapons; he could not be killed in water or on land and
he couldn’t be killed outdoors or indoors.

Also Read | Table mat or wall art: Use your stained Holi clothes creatively

Naturally, King Hiranyakashipu grew arrogant and confused
himself to god. He demanded everyone around him to worship only him and not
god. His son Prahlada who was a true devotee of Lord Vishnu disagreed and
refused to change his god and worship his father. This enraged King Hiranyakashipu
beyond measure and he often subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments the boy remained

A furious Hiranyakashipu and his sister Holika devised a
cunning plan to end Prahlada’s life. His sister convinced Prahlada to sit in
her lap on a pyre. According to legends, Holika was wearing a cloak that was
meant to protect her from the fire. The plan was to burn Prahlada alive while
Holika would remain protected because of the cloak.

Also Read | Five must-have songs in your Holi party playlist

Legends say that cloak flew away from Holika and wrapped
itself around Prahlad. Hence, Holika died in the pyre and Prahlada was safe.

Holika Dahan is hence celebrated one day prior to Holi as a
symbol burning away all negativity before celebrating Holi with loved ones the next

Lord Vishnu is said to have taken the form of a Narasimha (half
animal-half human) and kill King Hiranyakashipu in the triumph of good over evil.

Lord Krishna and Radha’s courtship also symbolises love and
festivities. Holi celebrations in Vrindavan and Mathura are unparalleled to

One of the few festivals in India which has a history of
both enthusiasm and calmness, Holi knows no bounds to celebrations. While the
elimination of evil from our lives should be the key takeaway from the
festivities, the colourful splashes of water mixed with the delicacies prepared
on the day often distract us.

However, even in the charged-up celebrations of
Holi, the harmony that comes along with the festival is evident when families
get together and enjoy their ‘gujiyas’ and ‘thandai’.