Holi, the festival of color is one of the main festivals celebrated all over India. There are various ancient legends behind the celebration of this festival.
Each of these legends has its own significance and the customs which have propped up from those legends are still carried out by the people as an effort to maintain the age old traditions.
Among the few famous legends are the legend of Radha and Krishna, the legend of Holika and Prahlad and the legend of Kaamadeva.
The legend of Dhundhi is yet another story about the evil ogress and how she was driven out of the kingdom by little boys.
About the legend
According to this famous legend, there was once a vicious ogress named Dhundhi who lived within the kingdom of King Raghu, also known as King Prithu. The evil monster used to devour children especially little boys in that kingdom and also troubled them to a great extent.
Everyone was terrified of this ogress but did not know how to drive her away. Moreover due to her staunch devotion towards Gods and Goddesses, she had received various blessing from them which made her all the stronger. Highly satisfied with her devotion, Lord Shiva had blesses her that she could never be killed by any God or human and neither could any human weapon or any form of adversities could harm her in any way. This boon made her almost indestructible and invincible.
However, Lord Shiva had also cursed her that only young boys who would not be afraid of her but mock and taunt her instead would be a great danger for her. The troubled king highly fed up of the Ogress’s evil doings went to the priest to find a solution to this problem and protect his kingdom. The priest told that on 15 Phalguna when the winter comes to an end and the season of summer begins, if all the boys of that kingdom would come out of their houses with sticks in their hands and gather at a place, if they would put up a heap of grass and woods and set it on fire along with chanting mantras, continuous laughter and by making extreme noise, it would drive the ogress away.
It is believed that on the day of Holi, all the young boys gathered courage and came out of their houses with the only objective of getting rid of that ogress and their fear along with her. They drank an intoxicating drink called bhaang and chased Dhundhi. They shouted, hurled insults at her, taunted her, used obscene words, made extreme noise, laughed hysterically, and did all these till the ogress was terrified and was forced to leave the kingdom of King Raghu. This is the sole reason why younger boys are allowed to get intoxicated on bhaang, use rude words and even act in a rowdy manner on the day of Holi without being stopped by the adults.