Monday, 11 July 2011

Lathmaar Holi: Celebration of Divine Love

Everyday there`s a festival somewhere in India. Few are more popular and widely celebrated. One of them is Holi. It`s the festival of colors and madness together. In Barsana, UP, people play Lath Mar Holi in premises of Radha Rani temple. The birth place of Lord Krishna’s beloved Radha, Barsana celebrates Holi with extreme enthusiasm as Krishna was famous for playing pranks on Radha and gopis.  Females beat up men with sticks and men try to protect with shields. Holi in Barsana, is regarded as the celebration of the divine love of Radha and Krishna.

View of LathMar Holi

Myths behind
According to the folklore and mythological tales, Krishna in one of his pranks, applied dark colors on the cheeks of Radha, as she was fairer than him. This initiated the tradition of celebrating Holi not only here but in the whole country. Following the tradition, men from Nandgaon, the place where Krishna spent his childhood and early days, come to play Holi with the women of Barsana. Here, women and girls welcome them not with colors, but with stout sticks.

Living the legend
Lord Krishna used to play pranks on Radha and her female friends (Gopis) and the tradition is still being carried by the men of Nandgaon who come to Barsana on Holi. The womenfolk of Barsana greet them with sticks rather than playing with colors. It seems that these women want to take a sweet revenge of the pranks that Lord Krishna used to play with the Gopis.
The men who are completely aware of the situation waiting for them at Barsana come fully padded. They try their best to escape from the beating of women by sticks but those who can not are forcefully led away and get a good thrush from these women.

Woman beating with stick to take sweet revenge of Radha

 Some lads are made to wear saris and dance in public

LathMar Holi
 Unfortunate ones, are made to wear saris and dance in public. All these are done to stop men from putting a flag on the temple of Radha Rani. People take all these as fun in the spirit of Holi. On the next day the men of Nandgaon take their revenge and drench the womenfolk with colors of kesudo (natural dye) and palash. It is really a colorful site to see all the men and women playing with colors and playing pranks on each other.

People singing folk songs during LathMar Holi

Lathmar Holi in Radha Rani temple Premises
  Lathmaar Holi is definitely a hair-raising experience, wherein men patiently face the charged womenfolk. At the end of the day, the Holi celebrations at Barsana present an unforgettable life time experience, downed with the spirit of devotion and affection for the Lord.


  1. I have never heard of this version of Holi before and it was a very interesting piece. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. neat post--hmmm, now I want to join this and find the guys I need to beat up to also join this Holi. I know it is sweet revenge--but dang, revenge at least!!!:):)

  3. wow this sounds quite interesting, never heard of the Lathmar Holi.

    Shouldn't Bollywood promote these interesting festivities part of India as well?

    The Tomatino festival sure made Spain a hot destination for Indians after ZNMD movie, its time now that the Lathmar Holi thing also is shown to put Indian festivals an attraction for Indians as well as people from other countries.

    Thanks for sharing, I am now quite tempted to go ;)

  4. The first photograph is just amazing ! beautiful post :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...