With Holi around the corner, it’s just gujiya, shopping, some more gujiya and well, Balam Pichkari on all our minds. 

For me, Holi is about happy times and all the colours. But, there’s more to it than just that. The festival has a legend associated with it and stories always add more meaning to things. Stay for this one and know the holika dahan story.


According to Indian mythology, the word Holi has been derived from ‘Holika’, the sister of King Hiranyakashipu. It is said, that Hiranyakashipu was an enemy of Lord Vishnu and he even demanded that he be worshipped as god, whereas his son Prahalad worshipped Lord Vishnu. 

This comes from the Hindu mythology and it has stayed as one of those stories that our grandparents tell us about.

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Hiranyakashipu couldn’t accept that his own son worshipped his enemy. So, he ordered Holika to kill Prahalad as she possessed the power of being unharmed in fire. She tricked Prahalad into walking into a pyre with her. And, as he sat in fire with Holika, he chanted the many names of Lord Vishnu and was saved. However, Holika died in the flames. As per Hindu mythology, this legend signifies the victory of good over evil, and thus, Holika Dahan is celebrated a day prior to Holi.


There’s still practice of creating a pyre on Holika Dahan, the night before Holi for the symbolic burning of evil. Holi or Rang Wali Holi is a symbolic celebration – the victory of good. It is even said that we can leave our fears and burn them away in the pyre. 

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Legends and stories pass on from generations and no matter how little or how much we believe in them, they still become a part of cultural fabric. And, the happiest memories from festivals are not about how on-point everything was but more about how much we laughed and shared with someone we love.

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I think, I’ll binge on gujiya now.

Feature Image Credits: clicks_of_nihal/Instagram