Hiranyakashipu was a king in ancient India who was like a demon. He wanted to take revenge for the death of his younger brother who was killed by Lord Vishnu. So to gain power, the king prayed for years. He was finally granted a boon. But with this Hiranyakashipu started considering himself God and asked his people to worship him like God. The cruel king has a young son named Prahalad, who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Prahalad had never obeyed his father’s order and kept on worshiping Lord Vishnu. The King was so hard hearted and decided to kill his own son, because he refused to worship him. He asked his sister ‘Holika’, who was immune to fire, to sit on a pyre of fire with Prahalad in her lap. Their plan was to burn Prahalad. But their plan did not go through as Prahalad who was reciting the name of Lord Vishnu throughout was safe, but Holika got burnt to ashes. The defeat of Holika signifies the burning of all that is bad. After this, Lord Vishnu killed Hiranyakashipu. But it is actually the death of Holika that is associated with Holi. Because of this, in some states of India like Bihar , a pyre in the form of bonfire is lit on the day before Holi day to remember the death of evil.
Shivaratri is celebrated on the 6th night of the dark Phalgun (Feb or March) every year. On the auspicious day, devotees observe fast and keep vigil all night. Mahashivaratri marks the night when Lord Shiva performed the ′Tandava′. It is also believed that on this day Lord Shiva was married to Parvati Ma. On this day Shiva devotees observe fast and offer fruits, flowers and bel leaves on Shiva Linga. Shivaratri is also spelled as Shivratri, Shivarathri and Shivaratri is a popular Hindu festival. It is celebrated every year in reverence of the Lord Shiva. Maha Shivaratri festival is also widely known as 'Shivaratri'. It means the 'Great Night of Shiva'. This auspicious day is believed to be the day of convergence of divine powers of Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti. It is believed that on this day the planetary position in universe evokes the spiritual energies very easily. Religious penances are carried out to gain boons through the practice of medication and yoga. People worships lord Shiva whole day and chants "Om Namah Shiva". Some devotees also perform Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra to seek divine blessings of Lord Shiva.