Holi heralds the end of winter and the onset of spring. It is also pointed out as an instance of the conquest of base instincts of man and Holi is a celebration of this conquest. The Holi fire connotes this event in Hindu mythology of the conquest of lust by Shiva. For this reason, Shiva is also known by the names Kameswara, Maara Ripu or Madana Ripu indicating one who has conquered carnal desires.
On Holi day, Hindus remember the life of a pure devotee, Prahlad and keep his spiritual ideas alive. In other parts, it is celebrated as the day of Kaama dahan (burning of desires). Madana Utsava is the vernal festival honoring Madana. Madana Trayodashi is the 13th day in the day in the bright half of Chaitra when the festival in honor of Madana is observed. Madana Chaturdashi is the fourteenth day in the bright half of Chaitra honoring Madana.
Lord Krishna teaches detachment
Sri Krishna relates to Arjuna in Bhagavadgita (Ch.2.62 & 63), on the battlefield of Kurukshetra (a place near Delhi) in Mahabharata that:
Sangaat sanjaayate kaamah, kaamat krodhobhi jaayate
Krodhad bhavati sammohah, sammohat smriti vibramaha
Smriti bhramsaad buddhi nasho, buddhi maashaat pranasyati
While contemplating material and sensual objects, persons become attached to them. Such attachment develops lust and lust generates anger. Anger leads to delusion and delusion to mental bewilderment. When the mind is bewildered, intelligence and discretion is lost. Loss of intelligence and discretion leads to downfall of the person.
Holi is an occasion to detach oneself from the delusions of the past and renew our journey towards spiritual fulfillment in the coming year.