Importance of the Day before Holi
In the Hindu Mythology books there are a lot of stories and events which hold a great significance on the society even today. The event of Holika Dahan also has its roots in one of such legend from the puranas of Hinduism. The Holika Dahan is simply known for the lighting of fire on the occasion of Holi. This particular is also known as Chhoti Holi or the small Holi and the major day which is all about playing with colors takes place on the very next day. It is the most popular tradition with intense and passionate feelings across the country and it symbolically denotes the success of good against the evil.
The main story behind the derivation of the name and the celebration is the death of Holika to save Prahlad, and hence obtained the name Holi. As per the story, there was a king who wanted to kill his son Prahlad as he follow lord Vishnu and not his father. The holika was sister of the king who was blessed by god that fire will not be able to burn her. Therefore, Holika tried to kill Prahlad by taking him in his lap and sit in the fire but the blessings also failed as Prahlad was saved by god and Holika was burnt.
There is a custom of lighting a piece of wood or two for Holika fire. This is especially followed in the northern parts of India. The children and other youngsters place everything they get into Holika pyre. People in some regions keep a log of wood in a place on Vasanta Panchami day, which is almost 40 days before to the holi festival and people threw many unwanted and waste things like twigs, straws, dried leaves and branches which are left in the winter season aside and these all together are set to fire on the Holika day. People normally collect the burnt pyre and apply it over the limbs of body.