Images of India : The Lathmaar Holi…

HoliLathmar Holi takes place days before the actual Holi in neighbouring towns near Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. In what is known as the hub of holi in India – Barsana. Sounds violent ? There is more violence than the name suggests. The stick is in the hands of the women on this day and the men need to work a lot to save themselves from the immensely charged up womenfolk. 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 the gopis. In fact, it was Krishna who started the tradition of colours by first applying colour on Radha’s face. The men of Nandgaon, the birthplace of Krishna, come to play Holi with the girls of Barsana, but instead of colours they are greeted with sticks. Aware of what welcome awaits them, men come fully padded and try their best to escape from the spirited women. Men are not supposed to retaliate. The unlucky ones are forcefully led away and get a good thrashing. Further, they are made to wear female attire and dance in public. The next day, it is the turn of the men of Barsana. They reciprocate by invading Nandgaon and drench the womenfolk in colours of kesudo, a naturally occurring orange-red dye and palash. This day, women of Nadagaon beat the invaders from Barsana.