The Story of Holi

The Story of Holi

Looking for a holi themed kid's activitiy? Scroll to the bottom of this blog post to check it out!

Once upon a time, there was a king named Hiranyakashyap who believed he was more powerful than the Gods.

To be fair, he was pretty powerful, thanks to the blessings bestowed on him by Lord Brahma. Hiranyakashyap asked to be made immortal, but Lord Brahma vetoed that idea. Instead, he granted him the following five wishes...

Hiranyakashyap cannot be killed:

1) by human, deva or animal
2) when it's neither day nor night
3) neither indoors nor outdoors
4) neither on land, air or water
5) by neither animate or inanimate weapons

Naturally, being the power-hungry guy he was, he wanted everyone to worship him.

However, there was one person who simply refused...

His very own son, Prahlad.


Prahald was a devotee of Lord Vishnu, despite his father's earnest efforts to sway him.

Since he couldn't win his son over, he decided to kill him instead, in a variety of ways...

By pushing Prahald off of a cliff.
By throwing Prahlad down a well.
By having an elephant trample over Prahlad.

But Lord Vishnu literally saved Prahlad's life no matter the crazy ploys of his father.
...Until one day, he thought of a way to finally outsmart the dynamic duo.
Or so he thought.

Since Hiranyakashyap's sister, Holika, had this magical power that she couldn't be hurt by fire, he asked her to convince Prahlad to sit with her in a bonfire. She wore an equally magical scarf to protect her, for safety measures.
(BTW, this is where the ritual of doing a bonfire for Holi comes from).

But a gust of wind suddenly blew the shawl onto Prahald, and Holika died in the fire instead.

Hiranyakashyap was really (like really) angry now, so in a rage of fury, he tied Prahald to a pillar and challenged him to summon his beloved savior, Lord Vishnu.

Be careful what you wish for, right?
Vishnu emerged from inside the pillar in one his avatars, as Narasimha, and killed him instantly.

When Hiranyakashyap died:
- it was dusk (neither day nor night)
- at the doorstep (neither indoors or outdoors)
- in the lap (neither land, water nor air)
- killed by claws (neither steel, stone nor wood)
- by Narasimha (neither human nor animal)


If you're looking for a fun and simple activity to do with your kids, then check out this idea by Suhani Amin, who has shared Ganesh Chaturthi crafts activities in the past with us. 


  • Holi powder
  • scissor
  • watercolor paper
  • glue stick
  • hair spray
  • a hard copy photo of your little one
  • a print out of either this kurta PDF or lengha PDF

Watch the video below for a demo of how to try this at home with your little ones. Suitable for ages 2 and up (with supervision):