Holi is one of the most famous Hindu festivals celebrated
every year. It is also known as the "festival of colours".
The Holi celebration continues in India generation by
generation from long time back. It is also mentioned in the
Puranas. The festival falls on the last full moon day of
Falgun month according to Hindu calendar. Holi is a part of
the Hindu religious festival Holika Dahan.
According to Hindu mythology, Holi celebrates the death of Holika in order to save Prahlad. Holika was the sister of King Hiranyakashyapu. He called upon his sister Holika for help to kill Prahlad. Prahlad was the devote towards Lord Vishnu which makes is father Hiranyakashyapu very angry and he made various attempts to kill Prahlad. Holika took Prahlad in her lap and sat in a bonfire as she had immunity against fire. However, to everyone's amazement, Holika burnt to death, Prahlad came out unharmed.
The festival signifies the victory of good over evil and the arrival of spring. In most places, Holi is a two days long festival. The first evening is known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi and the second day is known as Holi or Rangwali Holi. Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika Dahan. The next morning is celebrated as Rangwali Holi. In Mathura, residents celebrate Lath mar Holi in the sprawling compound of the Radha Rani temple where women beat up men with sticks. In Vrindavan, the festival lasts for sixteen days. Kids and adults play Holi with different range of colors. People ready with fancy water color guns. Preparation and distribution of sweets are done during the festival.