In today’s times, colours, loud music, bhaang and unrestrained fun is what mostly defines Holi but there’s more to it than what meets the eye. Very few people would know the legends associated with the festival of colours and so, here’s taking a look at a few of them.

The Kamadev myth

There’s a belief that Kamadev, also known as the god of love, was burnt to death as soon as Shiva opened his third eye. It is widely believed this was plotted by Indra and later on, Kamdev was reborn as the son of Krishna. Therefore, on this festival, a lot of people offer sandalwood paste and mango blossoms to pacify Lord Shiva.

The legend of Holika

Hiranyakashipu was the king of demons who had received the boon of immortality from Lord Brahma. As he grew powerful, he demanded that people worship him instead of other gods. His son, Prahlad was a devotee of Lord Vishnu and the king tried his level best to divert his son’s attention and destroy his beliefs. When all his plans failed, the king ordered Holika, his sister, to sit on a pyre with Prahlad. Holika received a shawl that’ll help her survive the fire while Prahlad decided to pray to Lord Vishnu. Prahlad’s prayers were fruitful because Lord Vishnu saved him while Holika was burnt to death. Which is why burning of Holika is an important part of Holi celebrations, across the nation since it commemorates the end of evil.

The tale of Radha-Krishna

Krishna once asked his mother Yashoda about his dark skin and why Radha was so fair. So his mother suggested him to apply colour on Radha’s face and see it change. Krishna was fascinated by the idea and so he smeared Radha’s face with colours and introduced this festival to the rest of the world. And since there are a number of tales about the love between Krishna and Radha, this is the reason why we have Bollywood songs with the protagonists playing Holi and declaring their undying love towards one another.