Tamil Nadu - Tamilnadu Festivals - Holi

Tamil Nadu Festivals - Holi

Holi is a Hindu Spring festival. It takes place over two days around March. The first day, a bonfire is lit at night to signify the burning of Holika. The second day, known as Rangapanchami, people go around throwing colours at each other. A special drink called bhang is also consumed, which actually contains small amounts of opium to make the festival more enjoyable. People also invite other to their houses for feasts and celebrations.

In Hindu mythology, Hiranyakashipu was the king of demons, and he had been granted a boon by Brahma which made it almost impossible for him to be killed. Consequently, he grew arrogant, and attacked the Heavens and Earth. But his own son, Prahlad, was a worshipper of Lord Vishnu. In spite of several threats from Hiranyakashiu, Prahlad continued offering prayers to Lord Vishnu. Getting angry with his son, Hiranyakashipu challenged Prahlad to sit on a pyre with his sister Holika, who could not die by fire. Prahlad readily accepted the challenge, and prayed to Vishnu to keep him safe. When the fire started, everyone watched in amazement as Holika was burnt to death, while Prahlad survived without a scar to show for it. The burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi.