The three legends behind celebrating Holi
Do you know why is Holi celebrated ?
Holi as we know is the festival of colours, exchanging love and we also burn Holika a day prior to Holi to commemorate victory of righteousness over evil and there are also tales of Holi being played by the eternal lovers Radha and Krishna.
Now lets get to know the 3 different legends behind the celebration. Holi is not just played in India now but is played internationally as well like in Nepal, Jamaica Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mauritius, Fiji, Europe and North America .
This is the Braj holi celebrated with colours.This was also believed to have started to welcome the spring season and was played by the divine couple (Radha Krishna) where they applied their favourite colours on each each other .Krishna was dark because as a child Putana rakshasi tried to poison him with her breast milk Krishna and that had turned him dark but Radha was very fair , Krishna was insecure whether Radha will like him because dark skinned, Krishna's mother once playfully suggested him to ask Radha to colour his face with any colour she wanted, Radha accepted and played holi with him and since then they became a couple and holi gained popularity because of their love for each other.
Hiranyakashipu was the king of Daitas (Demons) from the puranas .He was convinced that no one could ever defeat him as he had powers that made him invincible, he challenged the Gods in heaven and wanted the entire in trilok to worship only him however his own son Prahalda was a devout of Vishnu, this angered Hiranyakashipu and he decided to kill his son by setting him on fire. Hiranyakashipu's sister (Holika) had a boon by which fire couldn't burn her, so she sat on the pyre with Prahlada in her lap nothing happened to Prahlada but Holika turned into ashes. Eventually Hiranyakashipu was also defeated and killed by Vishnu. So Holika dahan symbolises victory of good of evil.
In Shaivism and Shatkism Holi is related to the time when Shiva was in deep meditation and Parvati wanted to bring in back to the world so she had send Kama Dev to shoot an arrow at him on Vasant Panchami , unfortunately Shiva opened his third eye and burned Kama Dev into ashes on seeing this Kama Dev's wife (Rati) was extremely saddened, she performs meditative asceticism for 40 days after which Shiva forgives and shows compassion and revives Kama Dev the god of love. So Holi is celebrated 40 days after Vasant Panchami ,this legends is mostly believed in the southern India.