Burst of colors, loud music played all around, vibrant people throwing colors on each other, some dancing away to glory, happy and cheerful faces everywhere … it all describes a site of people playing Holi, ‘the festival of colors’. Holi is one of the important Hindu festival celebrated with lots of enthusiasm and excitement. No puja, no prayers and no rituals, just colors and you.
Apart from all other holi celebrations in India, the most unique celebrations take place in Barsana, a small village town in Uttar Pradesh. This holi celebration starts much before actual Holi day. Here the famous Lathmar Holi is played in the sprawling compound of the Radha Rani temple. People gather here in thousands to see the famous Lathmar Holi. These spectators come from near by places, other parts of India and world also. The inflow of tourists see a drastic increase at the time oh holi as it is one of a kind experience which attracts foreigners from all parts of the world. People enjoy seeing men beaten by women with sticks and people surrounding them sing bhajans and holi songs in local language.
Legends say that Lord Krishna visited the village of Barsana to tease his consort Radha. In return women in the town responded by chasing him away. Today, according to the tradition the men from Nandgaon (where Lord Krishna came from) come to Braj (the place where Radha stayed) to tease the women of the town. And females of the town beat these men with sticks for singing provocative songs and throwing colored powder on them. Tradition also says that if a man get caught by women, he is forced to dress and dance like woman. Which is actually very interesting to see. Image Courtesy : www.boston.com
A man provoking a woman as she is ready to beat him with stick
The burst of colors
Men playing with colors at Barsana
A man dancing in celebrations
Celebrations in full swing
Dressed perfect for the occasion.
Throwing color powder called Gulal
A group of men from Nandgaon
Spectators watching a man beaten by a woman
Relaxing in colors
Coated with color red
Women in action. Ready to beat them up with sticks
Cheerful and happy faces all around
Full on excitement taking over
Throwing colors in air
Men shield themselves from women playfully beating them with bamboo sticks during “Lathmar Holi” in Nandgaon
The celebrations are grand but the enthusiasm is greatest
Enjoying every bit of it
A man and a woman enjoying and dancing
Two men ready to get beaten
All geared up