Hidden Legends of Holi Festival

Hidden Legends of Holi Festival

Holi is a widely observed Hindu festival also known as the Festival of colors, love, and also marks the arrival of spring. It honors Radha Mata and Krishna’s unending and holy love. The day also honors Vishnu as Narasimha for his victory over Hiranyakashipu, signifying the triumph of goodness over darkness.

It’s the celebration of colors. Water and colored powders, called Gullal, are used to celebrate this festival. The colorful flinging now symbolizes the carefree devotion and affection that Radha and Krishna once had. While Holi is commonly observed in India and other countries with bright colors and joyous celebrations, the celebration is also known to have a connection with some less widely recognized traditions.

Divine Flames: The Tale of Holika and Prahlad

Holika told her brother because of the boon; she could be of help to him. Prahlada sits on his aunt’s knee above a blazing bonfire. But to keep him safe, Prahlada recited the name of Vishnu when the fire blazed. To save Prahlad, from the blaze of fire, Lord Vishnu called for a strong wind to protect him. Finally, Prahlad was saved by Lord Vishnu, but Holika burned to ashes.

 In addition, the event serves as a way to give appreciation for a bountiful harvest. It was on this day that Narasimha killed the demon king Hiranya Kashyap. During Holi celebrations, the narrative of Prahlada, Holika, and Hiranyakashipu holds great significance as it represents the triumph of good over evil.

Colors of Devotion: Radha and Krishna’s Holi Romance

Numerous legendary stories describe how this widely observed event came across the nation. One of the legends strongly connects to Lord Krishna’s love for Radha. 

 Krishna once complained to his mother, Yashoda, about his dark skin tone. After the increase in his queries, his mother, Yashoda, gave the lighthearted suggestion, “Why don’t you color Radha?

 In a fun suggestion, Yashoda proposed that Lord Krishna paint colors on Radha’s face to erase the color disparity between them. Curious about the suggestion made by Mother Yashoda, dutiful Krishna went straight to Radha and colored her face, beginning a beautiful relationship. Holi since then has been celebrated to erase all differences between people.

After that, Krishna, Radha, and their friends established the custom of dousing one another in colors on Holi to represent love and harmony. People in Mathura and Vrindavan celebrate Holi, a festival of pure devotion linked to Radha and Krishna’s enduring love. 

The Mythical Origins of Holi: The Legend of Kamadeva

According to a widely accepted mythology, Kamadeva was burned to ashes when Shiva opened his third eye. It is also one of the myths connected to the Holi festival. Sati burned herself due to grief and shame after her father insulted her husband, Lord Shiva, during a yajna. He gave up his worldly obligations and entered a state of intense meditation. Furthermore, because Shiva had little interest in earthly things, difficulties in those affairs started to arise, which alarmed and worried all the other gods. 

 To restore Shiva to his former nature, the gods turned to Lord Kaamadeva, the deity of love and affection. Shiva was meditating when Kaama shot him with his love arrow. Shiva became so enraged that he opened his third eye, turning Kaamadeva to ashes. But Lord Shiva and Parvati were married due to the Kaamadeva arrow’s intended outcome.

 Mythology tales say that on the day of Holi, Lord Shiva set Kaamadeva on fire. Because of this sacrifice of Kaamadeva during Holi, people in the south revere Kaamadeva as the deity of love. Madana or Kama Mahotsava is a festival celebrated in South India. The experience serves as a reminder to purify humanity; the unrelenting flow of needs and wishes must be restrained or destroyed. This tale emphasizes Shiva’s strength and the fallout from upsetting the cosmic order.

Unveiling the Enigma: Dhundhi and the Holi Festival

One intriguing tale connected to the Holi celebration is the mystery of Dhundhi. It is mainly related to the state of Uttar Pradesh. It tells the story of a demoness named Dhundhi. She used to terrorize the kingdom and cause trouble and destruction, especially during the Holi season.

 Lord Shiva once gifted a boon to Dhundhi: She would neither die at the hands of mortals or gods nor experience the effects of the elements heat, cold, or rain. She was unstoppable because of these blessings and she also had a weakness. Lord Shiva also cursed her, saying that she would be vulnerable to loud noise and disturbances created by children.

The village’s young males made the decision one day to eradicate the threat posed by Dhundhi from their territory. They devised a scheme to scare her off with yells, loud noises, and practical jokes by kids. It didn’t matter if she had other powers; they also flung water balloons and powder in different colors at her. Dhundhi was so devastated by the colors and loudness that he left the village and never returned. 

 During Holi, people play with colors and rejoice in the victory of the teenage boys against Devil Dhundhi, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. In addition to being a tale of courage and solidarity, the Dhundhi myth also heralds the coming of spring and the victory of good over evil.


On the day of Holi, humanity believes that only love and harmony permeate the atmosphere, and the hues also symbolize Holi’s optimism. The numerous folktales and fables that comprise India’s rich history and legacy are all linked to Indian festivals. Every event, that is devotedly and enthusiastically observed has a backstory that explains how the festival came into existence. The celebration known as the festival of colors, is observed in India, Nepal, and other places where the Hindu diaspora resides. In India, Holi marks the arrival of spring, and we celebrate it with great enthusiasm. 

These lesser-known myths highlight the rich history and diverse range of rituals connected to the celebration of Holi, giving an additional dimension to its cultural tapestry.