People of Tamil Nadu celebrate Holi around the legend of Kama Deva.
On this day, songs are sung that tell the pathetic tale of Rati and her
lamentations. Holi is known by three different names here, Kamavilas,
Kaman Pandigai and Kama-Dahanam.
The Legend of Kaamadeva
The story prevalent in South India is that of Kamadeva-the Love God (the
Hindu equivalent of Cupid), who moves through the woods in the season of
Spring, aiming his passion tipped arrows that pierce the heart at all who
cross his path, from his bow made of sweet sugarcane strung with humming
Legend has it that shortly after Shiva's consort sati committed suicide due
to the disgrace shown by her father, Daksha to Lord Shiva, Shiva became sad
and started to meditate. Meanwhile, the daughter of the mountains, Parvati,
started meditating to acquire Lord Shiva as the husband. Since Lord Shiva
was least interested in the world, all the God became concerned and afraid.
They approached Kaama and asked him to shoot his arrow on Lord Shiva so that
he gets back to his original self and marry Parvati. So, Kaama went and shot
his arrow but Lord Shiva was angered and opened his third eye and burnt
Kaama to ashes. Shiva then looked towards Paarvati and fructified her
penance by marrying her.
The grief stricken Rati, Kamdev's wife, then beseeches Lord Shiva for
mercy. Shiva relents and partly restores Kamadeva to Rati. Though she can
see him, he remains without physical form 'anang'. The songs sung here are
the stories of Rati's lamentations. Another interpretation is that Parvati
(Siva's consort) brings Kamadeva back to life and the day he breathed again
is celebrated as Holi. Thus, Holi is also considered as a festival that