It is believed that there was once an Ogress called Dhundhi in the
kingdom of Prithu (or Raghu). The female monster used to specially trouble
little children who became fed- up of her.
Dhundhi, had a boon from Lord Shiva that she would not be killed by gods,
men nor suffer from arms nor from heat, cold or rain. These boons which made
her almost invincible but she also had a weak point. She was also cursed by
Lord Shiva that she would be in danger from boys going about crazy.
Deeply troubled by the Ogress, the King of Raghu consulted his priest.
Giving the solution, the priest said that on Phalguna 15, the season of cold
vanishes and summer starts. Boys with bits of wood in their hands may go out
of their house, collect a heap of wood and grass, set it on fire with
mantras, clap their hands, go around the fire thrice, laugh, sing and by
their noise, laughter and homa, the ogress would die.
The legend has it that on the day of Holi, village boys displayed their
united might and chased Dhundhi away by a blitzkrieg of shouts, abuses and
It is for this reason that young boys are allowed to use rude words on the
day of Holi without anybody taking offence. Children also take great
pleasure in burning Holika.