Once there was a devil king Hiranyakashyap who got victory over the earth. He was very rude and wanted to be worshiped by all people in his kingdom. But unfortunately, his son Prahlad became a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and denied to worship him.
The king tried to kill Prahlad in several ways but he did not get success. Every time, Prahlad got saved by the blessings of Lord Vishnu. Then the king ordered his sister Holika to enter into a blistering fire by taking Prahlad on her lap. Holika was blessed with a boon that no fire could harm her.
Then, according to king’s wish, Holika sat in blazing fire with Prahlad on her lap. But she forgot that the boon was working only when she enter into the fire alone. So, this time Holika lost her life and Prahlad who was taking the name of Lord Vishnu continuously came out of fire safely. So, festival of Holi got its name from Holika and it is celebrated as the day of victory of good over evil.
Celebration of Legend:
Today also, people celebrate the victory of Prahlad on the Holi day and ignite a bonfire named Holika. It is a tradition to throw cow dungs into this bonfire.
This tradition is very famous in north India and is also followed in Gujrat and Orrisa with full devotion. Here, people deliver their gratefulness to God Agni by offering stalks and grams.
It is a tradition to take little fire from the bonfire to home as it is believed that this fire will keep people away from all diseases.