Have you heard of Lathmar Holi? Yes, it is one of the unique Holi celebrations in India. According to mythology, Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna and Vrindavan is where he spent his childhood. It is mentioned in these stories that Holi was celebrated during Lord Krishna’s times. Hence, Holi is one of the major festivals in Uttar Pradesh. People just love to smear colors, eat sweets, drink bhang and dance around during this time. Holi celebrations in Vrindavan and Mathura are to be experienced at least once.
The significance of Lathmar Holi!
What is Lathmar Holi? In Lathmar Holi, women carry a Lath (traditional staff/stick) and playfully beat the men who try to put colors on them. Many people gather to witness this event which happens a few days before the actual day of Holi. Here women try to beat men singing some folk songs and remembering Radha and Krishna!
Where is it Celebrated?
Lathmar Holi is celebrated in the town of Barsana and Nandgaon. In Barsana the Radha Rani temple complex becomes the venue for the festivities. On the very first day, men from Nandgaon come to Barsana to play Holi. The second day, men from Barsana go there.
Barsana town is around 50km from Mathura. Legends say that it was the village of Radha (Lord Krishna’s consort). Barsana is known for Radha Rani Temple. During the Holi festival, the town becomes loud and vibrant.
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Lathmar Holi has many legends, but out of them, two are very famous: Once Radha becomes angry that Krishna and his mates stole the clothes from the bathing ghats. So, Radha with her mates goes to Nandgaon carrying big sticks to teach them a lesson.
Another story says that once Krishna comes to Barsana and drenches Radha in colors. Women of the village became angry and chase the group with their sticks. Though the tradition of women chasing men during Holi is celebrated as ‘Lathmar Holi’.
Bhang in Holi
Drinking Bhang (an intoxicating drink) mixed in Thandai is popular during the Holi festivals. People drink thandai and go merrymaking in this festival of colors.
Holi in Mathura
Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna. People unite to rejoice in the festivities. Special prayers are also performed in Dwarkadish Temple in Mathura in this time.
Holi in Vrindavan
Even in the city of Vrindavan, Holi fiesta is grand. Special poojas (prayers) are also offered in Banke Bihari Temple. Here all the streets are filled with colors.