Know the history of Holi, how colours became part of it

New Delhi, March 1: Holi is festival of colours and widely celebrated in India and some Asian countries, it also has a religious significance and long history behind it. There was king Hiranyakashipu in ancient India who was like a demon. The king prayed for years and finally he was granted a boon with five powers.

He could be killed by neither animals nor humans

He could be killed neither indoors nor outdoors

He could be killed neither during the day nor at night

He could be killed on neither land, water nor air

He could be killed by neither projectile nor handheld weaponry


When King's immortality turned him evil, he began to kill anyone who disobeyed him after which his son, Prahlad, decided to kill him. When Hiranyakashipu realised it, he asked his sister Holika for help.  ‘Holika’, who was immune to fire, so she jumped in the fire with Prahalad in her lap as she planned to burn Prahalad. Prahlad’s devotion to Lord Vishnu saved him, and the demoness Holika was burnt to death instead.

 

This is one of the story associated with the ‘Holika Dahan’. A practice that takes place on the eve of Holi, which is also known as the ‘Chhoti Holi’. On this day bonfires are lit to honour the deliverance of Prahlad from his evil father and aunt and as a reminder that good always triumphs over evil. 

 


But how did colours become part of Holi? 

Colours became the part of Holi in reference to Lord Krishna (reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. As per Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna used to celebrate Holi with colours along with his friends at Vrindavan and Gokul and this became popularised across the village and thus made this a community event.