Holi, the festival of colors is the second biggest Hindu festival after Diwali that is celebrated every year. It is celebrated at the end of the winters after the full Moon in the month of Phalgun and is also called the Spring Festival, as it remarks the arrival of spring, the start of the harvest season.
The celebrations of Holi go on for two days. The first day of the festival is on the eve of Holi which is known as Chhoti Holi or Holika Dahan. People lit a bonfire on Holika Dahan and a special type of Puja which is performed to mark the occasion and to burn evil spirits.While the second day is known as Dhuleti or Holi, which is marked by people exchanging sweets and celebrating among themselves.
Significance of Holika dahan:-
Holika Dahan is celebrated by burning Holika, an asura.Holi is celebrated on the eve of the killing of Holika by Vishnu in order to save Prahlad, who was a devotee of Lord Vishnu.
Hiranyakashyap, the Demon King, wanted everyone to worship him, but his son, Prahlad, refused to do so. The Demon King was angry and asked his sister Holika, to take Prahlad in her arms and enter the fire.She got burnt to death as the boon was only applicable when she enter the fire alone. And therefore, this way the Lord protected Prahlad.
The night before Holi, pyres are burnt in North India, Nepal and parts of South India in keeping with this tradition. The fire burnt on the eve of Holi (Holika Dahan) symbolizes the burning of Holika.