Legend has it that the Demon king Hiranyakashipu was able to suppress all his subjects and make them his devotees. All his citizens prayed to Hiranyakashipu except Hiranyakashipu’s own son, Prahlad who prayed to Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu tried all means to stop Prahalad from worshipping Vishnu but he failed. Hiranyakashipu had no choice and decided to kill his very own son, however every attempt was thwarted by Lord Vishnu.
Finally, the demon king took the help of his sister Holika who was immune to fire. Holika was asked to take Prahlad on her lap and sit on a huge pyre. This time too Prahlad emerged without any harm while Holika burnt to death. Young Prahlad was able to overcome evil in the form of Holika through his unwavering devotion to lord Vishnu.
In remembrance of this event, on the night before Holi, people remember “Holika Dahan” by lighting a bonfire with sticks, branches, leaves and old things to symbolize the victory of good over evil. People then walk barefoot in circles chanting prayers to cleanse themselves of their sins.
What are some memories where steadfast devotion has seen you through the most troubled times?