The word Holi is derived from the demoness, Holika. She was the sister of Hiranyakashyapu, a demon king, who having defeated the Gods proclaimed his own supremacy over the Universe. Enraged by his son, Prahlad’s ardent devotion to Vishnu, Hiranyakashyapu decided to punish him. He took the help of his sister, Holika, who was immune to damage from fire. Holika carried Prahlad into the fire but a divine intervention destroyed her and saved Prahlad. Thus Holi is celebrated to mark the burning of the evil Holika. It is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil, and is commemorated by burning huge bonfires on the eve of Holi as its symbolic representation.