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The day before holi is the Holika Dahan. Foremost is the legend
The day before holi is the Holika Dahan. Foremost is the legend of Hiranyakshyap and his son Prahlad. He is a King who considered himself powerful and expected everyone to worship him. To his wrath his son became was an ardant devotee of Lord Vishnu, so to get rid of his son, Hiranyakshyap asked his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap, as she had a boon to enter fire unscathed. Its a myth that Prahlad was saved for his extreme devotion for the lord while Holika paid a price for her sinister desire. The tradition of burning Holika or the 'Holika dahan' comes mainly from this legend.
Secondly, the legend of Radha and Krishna which describes the extreme delight, Krishna took in applying colour on Radha and other gopis. This prank of Krishna later, became a trend and a part of the Holi festivities.Also, mythology states that Holi is the celebration of death of Ogress Pootana who tried to kill infant, Krishna by feeding poisonous milk to it.Legend of Holi in South India, is that people celebrate the sacrifice of Lord of Passion Kaamadeva who risked his life to revoke Lord Shiva from meditation and save the world.