How Holi got associated with colours from Hiranyakashyap myth

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 27, 2018, 09.49 AM (IST)

The festival of colours Holi is just around the corner and while we are all very excited about the long weekend and all we are going to have this week.

But before all that, we must also know the significance of the festival and why it is celebrated.

Like all of Hindu festival, Holi also signifies victory of good over evil, justice over injustice. It is celebrated in Falgun month of Hindi calendar which falls between the end of February and the middle of March in the general calendar.

The festival is commonly celebrated as a Two-day festival but traditionally it is a three-day festival.

It starts with Holi Purnima then followed with 'Puno' or Holika Dahan, and the third is Dhulandi the last and final day of the celebrations. 

There are many reasons for celebrating this festival among them is a very common legend of Prahlada and king Hiranyakaship.

According to the legend in Bhagwata Purana an Asur king Hrianyakaship grew arrogant thinking he was a god due to the boons he received from the gods.

Hrianyakaship demanded to be to worship as a god from his people but his own son was a devotee of Vishnu and refused to worship his own father.

To make Prahlad understand of his highness, Hrianyakaship gave various kind of punishment to his son. Finally, he tricked his son to sit on a pyre with his aunt Holika thinking that Prahlad would get burned and Holika would be saved but due to Prahald's faith, dedications and purity of his heart he was saved from the fire instead his aunt Holika was burned and died; signifying win of justice over injustice.

Since then the second day of Holi is celebrated as Holi Dahan People with their families take five rounds of the bonfire to seek the blessing of God in the evening of Holika Dahan.

It is also celebrated as a commemoration of the divine love of Radha and Krishna.

 Another legend that surrounds the festival is that Krishna was a dark-skinned boy and it is said that conscious Krishna about his skin colour used to complain to his mother regarding whether fair skinned Radha would like him or not.

His mother, tired of the questions asked Krishna to colours Radha's face with any colour he wanted. 

Ever since the playful colouring of Radha's face has been commemorated as Holi.

The Holi is such an ancient Hindu festival that it's being celebrated since Krishna's time. It is also mentioned in the 7th-century Sanskrit drama Ratnavali as well.