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Holika () was a demoness in Hindu mythology who was burnt to death with help of God Brahma by Prahlad. She was the sister of King Hiranyakashipu.

The story of Holika's conflict signifies the triumph of good over evil, and death of Holika is celebrated as Holi.


According to Hindu mythology, there was a king named Hiranyakashipu whose desire was to be seen as a great man. To fulfill his desire he did the required Tapas (penance) and was granted a boon by Brahma.

Once Brahma was pleased by devotion of Hiranyakashyapu, he granted the king wishes that the king will not be killed by human being or an animal, he will not die either in his home or outside the home, he will not die in the day or at night, he will not die either by astra or shastra, and that he will not die either on land or in the sea or in the air. As this wish was granted, it was completely impossible to kill Hiranyakashyapu by any means and this made him invincible. Hiranyakashyapu ordered people in his kingdom to worship him as a God. Everyone obeyed with the exception of his son Prahlad. Prahlad refused to see his father as a god and stayed devoted to Vishnu.

This made Hiranyakashipu very angry and he made various attempts to kill Prahlad. During a particular attempt on Prahlad's life, King Hiranyakashyapu called upon his sister Holika for help. Holika had a special gift that prevented her from being harmed by fire....
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