Holika was Hiranyakashipu's sister and tried to kill Prahlad. Then, why do women observe holika vrata and worship holika wood before lightning fire in it?

Note: Poornima also falls on the Holi day but women observe vrata for Holika along with monthly Poornima vrata.

  • As far as I know, my mother used to worship before lightning the wood. But She used to worship Prahalad (Great Bhakta of Vishnu) not Holika. Also I have never hard of Holika fasting.
    – Devang
    Mar 22, 2019 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


NARADA-PURANA: PART 4: CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTYFOUR: Exposition of Vratas to be observed on the Full Moon and the New Moon days advocates Holika worship:

76b-78. The holy rite of Holika-worship is to be observed on the full moon day in the month of Phalguna. The devotee collects all types of wood and cow-dung cakes. After duly kindling fire therein, by means of extensive Mantras destructive of Raksasas, the devotee repeats this Mantra—

असृक्पाभयसंत्रस्तै: कृता त्वं होलि बालिशै:

अतस्त्वां पूजयिष्यामि भूते भूतिप्रदा भव:॥

"O Holi, you have been made by people of childish traits who are afraid of blood sucking Ogresses. Hence I shall worship you. Be the bestower of prosperity on the living beings.

  1. By repeating this Mantra, more and more wood is thrown in and the fire is made brighter. The devotees go round it and carry on the festivities with songs and instrumental music.

80-81. (There are two opinions about the burning of Holika).* (one opinion) : This ogress Holika was a terror to Prahlada. Hence, people burn her with wood to the accompaniment of songs and instrumental music. This is the burning of the Samvatsara (year). In the opinion of others, it is the burning of Kama. Thus O leading Brahmana, you shall know that there are many traditions in the world.

  • Did you know the Holi coloured powders are supposed to represent the ashes of Kamadeva? :). Sorry for upvoting 2-3 at the same time. Hope they don’t get deleted.
    – Adiyarkku
    Feb 28, 2021 at 5:46
  • 1
    I didn't know that, thanks @Archit
    – YDS
    Feb 28, 2021 at 14:18

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