H i s t o
r y o f H o l i , F e s t i v a l o f C o l o r s Indian all celebrate Holi but hardly anyone knows the reason behind its celebration and origin. Originally Holi is a Spring festival. It celebrates good harvests and fertility of the land. There are many legends and history associated with the origin of this spring festival. The most popular among these legends is the one about the story of Prahlad, the son of the evil King Hiranyakasipu and the devotee of lord Vishnu. He tried hard to kill him but every time Lord Vishnu saved him. One of the sisters of the king named Holika had a boon to remain unscathed by fire, so she followed her brother's wishes. However, with this sinful act against Lord Narayana's devotee, Holika's boon ended and she was burnt to ashes, while Prahlad came out safe. From that day onwards Holi is celebrated as the festival of the victory of good over evil. Even today, bonfires are lit on the night before Holi in memory of the event and burning of the evil Holika. It symbolizes the victory of Good over evil. Holi commemorates this event from mythology, and huge bonfires are burnt on the eve of Holi as its symbolic representation. Holi also celebrates colors. It is called the festival of colors. Lord Krishna and Radha is associated with the celebration of colors. It is the immortal love of Krishna and Radha, which is associated with the celebration of colors in Holi. Holi is also called Vasant Utsav or the festival of spring. The day after burning the Holika people put the ashes from the fire as Vibhuti on their forehead often mixed with Chandan paste (Sandalwood paste). Around the same time of the year as Holi, Catholics also celebrate ash ceremony called, Ash Wednesday. It is believed that on the day Holika was burnt Lord Shiva opened his third eye and burnt Kaamdev (the God of Love) to ashes because once Kaamdev in his foolish pride aimed his love arrow at Lord Shiv who was in deep meditation. Sensing his presence Lord Shiv opened his third eye and burnt Kaamdev to ashes. Rati, Kaamdev's wife, beseeched Lord Shiv to take pity on her and restore her husband to life. Shiv relented and granted her the boon that she could see her husband but he would remain without a physical form. Hence, the songs sung during Holi tell the tale of Rati and her lamentations. These are the few legends, which tells us the origin of Holi festival and its celebration.