Holi is celebrated throughout the length and breadth of India with immense joy and enthusiasm. It is celebrated as the festival of the divine love of Krishna and Radha. Holi is also related with the story of Prahlad, Holika, and Hrinyakashyapa. The festival is celebrated in the Hindu month of Falgun, which falls at the end of winter season and welcome of spring and commemorates with the Mid-February to Mid- March period of the Gregorian calendar. On the occasion of Holi, Hindu community all over the world celebrates this festival with immense joy and fervor. Apart from color playing, community gathering, feast, exchange of gifts and good wishes are vital elements of Holi celebrations.
The date of Holi is decided according to the Hindu calendar. It is celebrated on the date which commemorates with the Falgun Purnima day of the Hindu calendar. The celebration begins from the eve of Holi with the ritual of Holika Dahan. Holika Dahan, or burning of demon Holika, is the vital ritual during Holi festival. On a night before Holi, people collect wooden logs and waste materials like broken furniture, clothes, etc from their home and gather it together to burn Holika. This bonfire epitomizes the victory of good over evil. It is also even termed as the cleansing ceremony before the actual Holi festival.
Legends say it that it that there was a time when lived a brutal King named Hiranyakashyapa. This demon king Hiranyakashyapa was very cruel and thus forcefully suppressed all this subjects and make them his devotees. He tried to eliminate the existence of God from the earth and establish his own supremacy everywhere. All the citizens of his kingdom were forced to pray to Hiranyakashyapa and not to Vishnu. However his own son, Prahalad, the little never abided by his Kingdoms rule. He tried every way to stop Prahalad from worshipping Vishnu but the little devotee never stopped praying his almighty.
Out of frustration and anger, the demon king then decided to kill his son. Despite all his efforts, Prahalad remained safe by the blessings of Lord Vishnu. Finally, the Hiranyakashyapa decided to take help of his cruel sister Holika. Holika was blessed with a drape which protected her from burning into fire. As per the plan made by the brother and sister, the demon princess Holika sat with young Prahalad in a huge bowl of fire wearing the drape over her body. But this time, due to heavy wind the drape came over young Prahalada, saving him from burning and as a result Holika was burnt in fire and thus died on the spot. This incident thus reestablished the faith of people in the ultimate divine power and is thus celebrated as the day of eternal love, devotion, blessings and the victory of Good over evil.