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What is Lathmar Holi?

Friday, 16 September 2016 22:39



“Holi aayi re holi aayi re” you may have heard this song, and today I am singing this song because the festival of colors is just knocking at the door.

“Holi aayi re holi aayi re” you may have heard this song, and today I am singing this song because the festival of colors is just knocking at the door. So what are you waiting for? Look around and you can feel the real zeal and enthusiasm of Holi.


The celebrations of holi differ from region to region, every where holi is celebrated in different ways. And one famous and authentic kind of holi celebrations in India is the Lathmar Holi.  It is said that the trend of colors and the modern form of Holi was introduced in Mathura and Vrindavan by Lord Krishna himself and that is people of this region celebrate Holi religiously.


Lathmar Holi is celebrated in Barsana, a small village which is about 15 km away from Vrindavan. it is celebrated in a very traditional style. And no other place can ever match the ambience of this festival which is celebrated here in Barsana. According to mythology, Barsana is the birth place of Lord Krishnas divine beloved, Radha. This is also the place where Lord Krishna used to play and enjoy raas-leela with his beloved and Gopis. Holi here is regarded as the celebration of divine love of Radha and Krishna.


As per mythological tale, One day, Krishna complained to his mother Yashoda about the injustice of nature which made Radha so fair and he so dark. For this she replied to his innocent question and asked him to go and color Radhas face in whichever color he wanted.  In a mischievous mood, naughty Krishna heeded the advice of mother Yashoda and applied color on her beloved Radhas face; Making her one like himself. And from that day the tradition of celebrating holi started not only in Barsana but all over India. 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.


All this takes place in pursuit of men, trying to put a flag on the temple dedicated to Radha Rani. To stop them from doing so, women beat them hard with sticks. On the other hand, men, knowing what awaits them, come fully padded, carrying shields to protect themselves. The sight of women beating men is electrifying. The environment echoes with the reverberating sound produced by the stick hammering the shields. This scene seems very interesting and electrifying. And women get a chance to show their power by playing lathmar and it is considered the sweet revenge that women take for the ancient pranks played by Lord Krishna on them.


 However, after all the women folk is tired then the chance for the men to reciprocate is started. They drench the women with the colors of kesudo (a natural dye) and palash, thereby balancing the deal. 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. You can easily gel up with our tradition and enjoy the authentic way to play holi.



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