Holi is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India. It is one of the greatest festivals for the significance that it holds in the history of Hindu mythology. Have you ever wondered or talked about “Why we celebrate Holi in India”? Here is a piece of history that might help you clear your doubts.
Holi marks the beginning of the spring in India. For the same reason, it is also called the Festival of Spring. It is celebrated by playing with coloured powder and water. One of the most important parts of the festival is the sweets and the thandai, which is a drink. There are a number of reasons why Holi is celebrated in India. The most widely followed belief is that this day marks the end of demon Holika of Hindu mythology.
According to Hindu Holy books, King Hiranyakashipu also known as the king of demonic Asura, wanted everybody to worship him as the God. He was arrogant and extremely powerful to be killed. Of all the people, his son Prahlada was a worshipper of Lord Vishnu (The Preserver of the universe) and refused to take Hiranyakashipu as the king. This led to the King’s sister Holika develop enough rage to kill him. She asked him to sit on a pyre along with her. She, however, had a protective cloak which Prahlada was not aware of. It is believed that Prahlada's faith is what kept him alive that day as the cloak flew off demon Holika and protected Prahlada. Holika got burnt while Vishnu killed the evil king by taking up the avatar of Narasimha.
Following this popular belief, Hindus light a huge fire and burn old and useless things, just like getting rid of Holika on the night before Holi. They also have the tradition of dancing and singing around this fire, celebrating life and goodness. Rang panchami is celebrated the next day.