Holi signifies the triumph of good over evil, and also marks the onset of spring season. On this day people apply dry colours or gulal on each other’s faces and celebrate with friends and family.
Like many festivals, the legend behind celebrating Holi revolves around the story of Hiranyakashyap, the demon god who wanted to be immortal and wished be worshipped by everyone. However, his son Prahlada, was a devotee of Lord Vishnu and would offend his father by not worshipping him.
Hurt and disrespected by his son’s attitude towards him, Hiranyakashyap asked his sister Holika to kill his son by sitting on a bonfire with Prahlada. Holika is believed to have been bestowed with a divine power – that she could not be harmed by fire. So she did as advised by her brother, but Prahlada’s devotion evoked Lod Vishnu’s compassion and he saved the boy from the fire while Holika was burnt death.
Lord Vishnu, thereafter, defeated and killed Hiranyakashyap, marking the victory of good over evil.