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Holika Dahan: Victory of Good over Evil

Friday, 16 September 2016 22:39

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Holi is a festival of joy and enthusiasm. According to Hindus, it is the first biggest festival of the year which comes at the end of winter season and welcomes spring season.

Holi is a festival of joy and enthusiasm. According to Hindus, it is the first biggest festival of the year which comes at the end of winter season and welcomes spring season. It is celebrated in the Hindu month of Falgun (mid of February - March). Holi is a carnival of colors when everyone assembles together and sprinkle colors on each other. But before the eve of holi, people celebrate Holika Dahan.



 

On a night before Holi, people collect wooden logs to burn Holika. This bonfire symbolizes the victory of good over evil. There is a miraculous story of devotee Prahlad and his blind trust on lord Vishnu.   And how the demon king Hiranyakashyap and his sister Holika defeated by a small devotee Prahlad.

 

Story of Prahlad and Holika

According to Hindu mythology, there was once a demon king ‘Hiranyakashyap’ who won over a kingdom of earth. He was so cruel and egoistic that he commanded everybody in his kingdom to worship him only. But his own son, Prahlad becomes a true devotee of Lord Vishnu that he refused to worship his father. Hiranyakashyap tried several ways to kill his son but Lord Vishnu saved him every time. He tried to eliminate the existence of God Vishnu and wants to establish his own supremacy everywhere. But because of his son Prahalad worshipped lord Vishnu which makes Hiranyakashyap more brutal.




Out of frustration and anger, the demon king decided to take help of his cruel sister. Holika was blessed with a drape which protected her from burning into fire. Both planned to kill Prahlad, the demon princess Holika sat with young Prahlad in a huge bowl of fire wearing a drape over her body. Holika was not aware that the boon worked only when she entered the fire alone.  But this time, due to heavy wind the drape came over young Prahalad, saving him from burning and as a result Holika was burnt in fire and thus died on the spot. And Prahlad who kept chanting the name of Narayana, and came out from the fire unharmed, as lord blessed him with his extreme devotion.




Thus, Holi derives its name from Holika. And is celebrated as a festival of victory of good over evil. Therefore, People enact the scene of Holika’s burning to ashes by celebrating Holika Dahan on chhoti Holi. Further, on the last day of Holi, people take a little fire from the bonfire to their homes. It is believed that by doing this custom their homes will be rendered pure and their bodies will be free from disease.

          


 

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