Story of Holika Dahan and Holi

The story of Holika Dahan during Holi festival is associated with Prahlad, King Hiranyakashipu, and Holika. The demoness Holika was the sister of Hiranyakashipu, who was an ardent devotee of Lord Brahma. By pleasing Brahma Deva, Hiranyakashipu got his life wish of being immortal. He got the boon that he will not be killed by any man or animal, during day or night, in his home or outside, not with any astra or shastra, he will not die either in air, land or in the sea. With the attainment of his wish he became self-righteous and considered himself as God. He wanted his people to worship him. Those who neglect to obey him are killed with no mercy. Everyone with fear obeyed him except his son Prahlada.

Prahlad was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu from his childhood and he refused to worship his father Hiranyakasipu instead of Vishnu. This made the king angry towards his son and ordered his solders to kill him with no mercy. But his soldiers were incapable of killing Prahlad as he was always protected by the great hands of Mahavishnu. As a last hope the king reached Holika his sister to help him in killing his son.

Prahlad Hiranyakashipu Story of Holika Dahan

Holika was very happy to accept the request of her brother and planned to kill Prahlada with her power. Holika had a special gift that prevented her from being harmed by the fire God Agni. By preparing a bonfire Hiranyakashipu asked Holika to sit with his son Prahlad in her lap in the hope that he will become a victim to fire. Without any fear of death Prahlada started chanting the mantras of Lord Vishnu. To everyone’s surprise Prahlad come out of the fire without any single burn in his body and Holika was seen burnt to death in the bonfire.

Since then, the night before Holi is celebrated as Holika Dahan. Hindus build bonfire with woods and lit them in the memory of burning of demon Holika. Holi symbolizes the victory and devotion of Prahlada – or simply the success of good over evil.

The 2022 Holika Dahan date is on 17 March.

Read Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi Story on Holi Festival