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"Lathmar" Holi takes off in Barsana village in Mathura

Mathura, Sat, 03 Mar 2012 ANI

Mathura, Mar 3 (ANI): Hundreds of people assembled at Barsana village to play 'Lathmar Holi', in which women beat men with sticks.


Celebrating an age-old tradition, men from neighbouring towns and villages came to Barsana and sang provocative songs to draw the attention of women.


The women went on the offensive and use long staves to beat the men, who protected themselves with shields.


Men and women sprayed and sprinkled colours at each other during a colourful procession that was taken out on the streets.


"All the boys from Nandgaon also called the friends of Lord Krishna, go to Barsana to play Holi with the friends of Radha. First they go to the temple to play Holi with colours and flowers and then all the friends of Radha congregate in Rangeeli Gali and then boys from Nandgaon and women from Barsana play Holi with love in the gali and we hope that love should increase among them," said Murari Lal Goswami, a Nandgaon villager.


Legend has it that Krishna visited his beloved Radha's village on this day and playfully teased Radha and her friends.


People visit the village from across the country to play this version of Holi with great enthusiasm.


"Such celebrations of Holi is seen nowhere in the world. When boys from Nandgaon arrive in Barsana and are beaten up by the women of Barsana with sticks, it reminds us of the 'Dwapara Yuga' of Lord Krishna, when he used to play Holi here," said Brij Ratna, a devotee from Madhya Pradesh.


Holi is celebrated for 45 days in villages of Mathura District, as the entire area has strong devotion towards Lord Krishna. The celebrations are considered incomplete without the 'Lathmar' event.


Barsana. Interestingly, has the distinction of having the only temple dedicated to Radha.


This year, Holi would be celebrated on March 8. (ANI)


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