History of Holi Festival | Interesting Stories Related to Holi Celebration

History of Holi Festival | Holi Kyu Manaya Jata Hai: India has a wide range of beautiful festivals and among all Holi is very unique and a favorite of all the people of India as Holi is a color festival. 

So questions arise in our curious minds that why we celebrate the Holi festival and what are the legends behind the Holi celebration. So we have created this post on Holi History to increase the knowledge of your Holi festival. Earlier, we have shared some of the details in the Holi Essay.

Holi History:

So Holi celebration has related several legends connected to it. There are certain legends about Holi history like:
  • Hiranyakashipu - Holika and Prahalada's story
  • Krishna and devil Putana story
  • Shiva and Kamadeva story

1] Hiranyakashipu - Holika and Prahalada's story

This is the most famous story and probably the perfect reason to celebrate the festival of Holi. This story is described in many Indian ancient books and Puranas like Bhagavata Purana. Hiranyakashipu was the king of Asura and he was very powerful.

Hiranyakashipu was blessed by God, a very unique boon, of 5 safety rules. They are as: 
  • He could not be killed by man or by an animal. 
  • Not inside the house or outside the house, 
  • Not in the day or not in the night, 
  • Not on the land or not in the water and 
  • final was not by the Astra, projectile weapon or not by any shastra, handled weapon.

history of holi
Holi History : Legend of Holika Dahan

Getting this kind of powerful boon from God, Hiranyakashipu was believing himself a God. He made everyone stop worshiping Lord Vishnu and forced people to worship only him. But Hiranyakashipu challenged in his own house and by his own blood.

Hiranyakashipu had a son, named Prahalada. Prahalada was the great devotee of Lord Vishnu and he was taking the name of Lord Vishnu every time. 

Arrogant Hiranyakashipu tried all the possible ways to stop Prahalada by taking the name of Lord Vishnu, but he failed every time.

So by losing all the hope of Prahalada's devotee towards Vishnu, Hiranyakashipu decided to kill his own son. Hiranyakashipu called his sister named Holika. Holika has also gifted a boon by God and was arrogant too. 

Holika had a cloak, which was protecting her from fire. Both brother and sister decided to kill Prahalada by burning him in the fire. They decided to sit Prahalada on the pyre with Holika. When the fire was applied, Prahalada was taking the name of Lord Vishnu continuously. 

Now, when the fire got big and roared, the cloak of Holika flew away and encased on the body of Prahalada. So Prahalada survived from fire while Holika burned. To restore people's belief in Dharma, Lord Vishnu took Narshimha's avatar.

Narshimha's avatar was a half-human and half-lion. He killed Hiranyakashipu at dusk, neither day nor night. The place was doorsteps, neither inside nor outside. Hiranuakashipu was placed in Narshimha's lap, neither land nor water, and killed him by lion claws, neither Astra nor shastra.

The bonfire of Holika is the significance of the victory of good over evil and from that day Holi is celebrated. Holika was killed by fire so Holi is also known as Holika Dahan.

2] Krishna and devil Putana story

Lord Krishna was born in jail but grew up in the Braj area of India. When Krishna was a child, his uncle sent a lady demon named Putana to kill him. Putana poisoned little Krishna with her breast milk. Krishna killed Putana but the poisonous effect of milk made Krishna's skin dark.

While Krishna grew up, he wanted to marry Radha. But Radha was very beautiful and Krishna was Shyam (dark). Krishna asked his mother and his mother suggested him to ask Radha to color his face in any color she liked and wanted. Radha does this and they became a couple.

holi history
Holi History: Radha Krishna Legend

From that day, the colored faces of Radha and Krishna became the symbol of love, and the festival of Holi, the festival of color started being celebrated. Earlier this festival was celebrated as Rangapanchami in remembrance of the divine love of Radha and Krishna.

3] Lord Shiva and Kamadeva's story

Holi celebration is also connected with Lord Shiva. According to legends, Shiva was in yogic meditation for a long time. Parvati was wanted to bring Shiva back with her but it was a very hard task to take Shiva to bring back from the meditation.

Parvati asked to help Kamadeva. Kamadeva was the God of Love and he decided to help goddess Parvati. On Basant Panchami, Kama shot an arrow of flowers on Lord Shiva and did a couple of more actions. Finally, Shiva opened his eyes but he was very angry over Kamadeva.

holi history shiva parvati kamadeva
Holi History: Shiva Kamadeva legend

Lord Shiva opened his third eye and burnt Kamadeva. Goddess Parvati and Rati, Kamadeva's wife got stunned by the act of Shiva. 

To make Kamadeva alive, Rati started meditative asceticism for continuous 40 days. Shiva understands the situations and restores the God of Love again. So 40th day from Basant Panchami is celebrated as the festival of Holi in the remembrance of love God.

Conclusion: So it was the History of the Holi festival and legends that are connected to the celebration of the Holi festival. We hope that you must like the Holi history shared here. 

You can also tell us in the comment box below if something is missing. We hope now you have got your answer that holi kyu manaya jata hai and do not forget to check Holi images for colorful Holi celebration. Happy Holi 2021!

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