The Indian tradition of lighting a bonfire on the eve of Holi is well known. Indians celebrate the day, known as Holika, by collecting twigs and other combustible items to set them on fire. The ritual is observed to signify good triumphing over evil as Holika, a demon, was burnt to ashes after luring a young Prahlada into a pyre.
As per the custom, the ashes from the bonfire are then collected and smeared on people’s limbs. In a bizarre twist to the tradition, people in Uttar Pradesh are seen (in the video) smearing ashes from a funeral pyre. In a video released by RTV on YouTube, shows mourners smear ashes from a funeral pyre. According to European folklore, “charred remains can beasts and humans”.