Holi is one of the oldest Hindu festivals which probably started before the birth of Christ. In ancient India, there was a King Hiranyakashipu who was a demon. His brother was killed by Lord Vishnu and he wanted to take revenge for that. He prayed for many years for power and finally he got the boon. With this King considered himself as God and asked his people to worship him. Hiranyakashipu had a son, Prahalad, who worshipped Lord Vishnu against his father’s will. So, King asked his daughter Holika to sit in fire with Prahalad in her lap. Holika was immune to fire. Since Prahalad, was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, Lord Vishnu saved Prahalad, and killed Holika. The defeat signifies the burning of all that is bad. After this, Lord Vishnu also killed Hiranyakashipu.
Holi is celebrated on the full moon day of Phagun month in Hindu calendar which generally comes in the month of February/March. It is more famous in the states of north Indian region.
In ancient period Lord Krishna used to celebrate holi with his friends and Gokul in Vrindavan by using colors. They used to play across villages which made it community event. Holi is also giving farewell to spring. Once the stores are filled, farmers celebrate Holi with happiness. Hence Holi is also known as Vasant Mahotsava’ and ‘Kama Mahotsava’. In most of the Indian states Holi is celebrated for three days. On the first day of Holi, i.e., the Holi Purnima, colors are kept ready. Celebrations starts when head of the family, sprinkles colors on the family members. Second day is known as Puno. On this day Holika’s images are burnt. Bonfires are created, mothers with babies rotate around the bonfire to get blessing of fire god. The last day is called Parva, where colored powered and water is poured. Radha and Krishna are worshipped on this day.