Holi, known as the festival of colours is also the harvest festival which heralds the advent of spring. It is celebrated to commemorate the Hindu mythological tale of Prahlada emerging unscathed from the flames despite being drawn into the fire by demoness Holika.
Holi is celebrated for two days starting on the Purnima (Full Moon day) falling in the Bikram Sambat Hindu Calendar month of Falgun, which falls somewhere between the end of February and the middle of March in the Gregorian calendar. The first day is known as Holika Dahan or Jalane wali Holi.
On this day Holi bonfire are lit after sunset. Like choti diwali this day is marked as choti Holi or Holika Dahan.
Holika Dahan is referred to Kama Dahanam in South India. The second day is known as Rangwali Holi or Dhulandi. On this day people play with colored powder also known as gulal.
On the special occasion of Holi, the only thing one can hear loud and clear is people greeting each other with the phrase – Happy Holi.
Significance of Holi:
Holi is a festival which signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring and end of winter.This is the time when people renuites. A time when people can forgive and forget and repair broken relationships, and is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest.
History of Holi:
Various legends associated with the festival.
According to Indian Mythology once lived a Prahlad and his king father Hiranyakshyap. A devil and powerful king, Hiranyakshyap who considered himself a god who wanted to be worshiped by all. His son, Prahlad who began to worship, Lord Vishnu. In order to get rid of his son, Hiranyakshyap asked his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap, as she had a boon to enter fire unscathed. His son Prahlad was saved while Holika paid a price for her sinister desire. The tradition of burning Holika or the 'Holika dahan' comes mainly from this legend.
Its also belived that Lord Krishna applied color on Radha and other gopis which later became a trend and a part of the Holi festivities.
Also, Mythology states that Holi is celebrated the death of Ogress Pootana who tried to kill infant, Krishna by feeding poisonous milk to it.