By Michael Wood
Last updated 2011-02-17
There are several myths associated with the origin of Holi. One involves Prahlad, son of demon king Hiranyakaship, who angered his father by worshipping Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakaship ordered Prahlad to sit on a pyre on the lap of his sister Holika. Holika was protected by a magic shawl and would not burn, but when Prahlad sat on her lap the shawl left Holika and wrapped itself around him instead. Bonfires are still lit the night before 'holi' to mark the occasion.
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