Holika Dahan or the lighting of bonfire takes place on the eve of Holi. This day is popularly known as ‘Chhoti Holi’ or the ‘Small Holi’. According to the Gregorian calendar, Holi a major festival in India and is celebrated with enthusiasm on the full moon day in the month of Phagun which is the month of March.
The bigger event is played with colors and takes place on the following day of Holika Dahan.
Vaikundarajan states the foremost story of Holi . The story is of demon, King Hiranyakashyap, who demanded everybody in his kingdom to worship him. But his own son, ‘Prahlad’ became a devotee of Lord Vishnu. The demon king got angry and wanted kill his son for not worshiping him. The king asked his sister ‘Holika’ to enter into the blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap as Holika had a boon which made her immune to fire. The actual Story is that Prahlad was saved by lord Vishnu for his extreme devotion towards him and the evil minded Holika was burnt to ashes, for her boon worked only when she entered the fire alone.
Since then, people light a bonfire, called Holika on the eve of Holi and celebrate the victory of good over evil. After the Holi ka Dahan the next day is a big day.
On this day great excitement can be seen in the people as they apply colours on each other and say ‘bura na maano Holi hai’. Another thing that is associated with ‘Holi’ is the bhang tradition which is consuming the intoxicating drink on this day to further enhance the spirit of Holi.