Holi is celebrated as Kaman Pandigai, Kamavilas, and Kamadahanam in South Indian states. In 2013, Kamadahanam date is March 26. The festival of colours is celebrated with utmost fervor in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.
Kama Dahanam legend about Holi describes why it is referred to as Kaman Pandigai or Kamuni Punnami Panduga. Usually, this ritual is observed on the day before Holi.
After Goddess Satis death, Lord Shiva was in deep meditation without caring the universe. All the Gods were in trouble because they cant do anything without Shivas association. At that time, Kamadeva, also known as Manmatha, has taken the responsibility of bringing Lord Shiva into active stage. Kamadeva shot an arrow of love at Lord Shiva and Shiva opened his third eye and destroyed Manmatha into ashes.
Knowing this Manmathas wife Rathi felt depresses and worshipped Lord Shiva to regain her husband. This is known as Kamadahanam and since then Kamadahanam is observed during Holi festival.
In North Indian states, Kamadahanam is known as Holika Dahan.