Lathmar Holi in Barsana in 2024, Where Culture Comes Alive!

Lathmar Holi in Barsana: Where Culture Comes Alive

Are you ready to embark on a vibrant journey into the heart of tradition and festivity? Look no further than Lathmar Holi in Barsana, a spectacle of colors, culture, and community like no other. In this article, we delve into the essence of Lathmar Holi, exploring its roots, significance, and the immersive experience it offers to all who partake.

 Lathmar Holi in Barsana, Where Culture Comes Alive: Dive into Tradition

Unveiling the Tradition

Lathmar Holi is a unique celebration that takes place in Barsana, a small town located in the Braj region of Uttar Pradesh, India. Steeped in mythology and folklore, this colorful festival holds immense significance, especially for the locals who eagerly await its arrival each year.

Legend has it that Lord Krishna, the beloved deity of Hindu mythology, visited Barsana and teased the women by throwing colored powder at them. In retaliation, the women playfully chased him away with sticks, or “lathis,” thus giving birth to the tradition of Lathmar Holi.

The Origin of the Lath Mar Holi Tradition: A Mythical Perspective Lathmar Holi in Barsana, Where Culture Comes Alive: Dive into Tradition

In the festival of Holi, painting each other with sand color is totally normal. However, when did the tradition of women hitting men with sticks (lath) start? One answer to this is in the song ‘Yashomati Maiya Se Bole Nandalala’, in which Child Krishna sweetly complains to Mother Yashoda, ‘Radha kayun gori, mein kayun kala’ (Why is Radha fair, and I am dark?). Mother then comes up with the idea of coloring Radha’s face with the color of his choice.

Krishna, who lives in Nandgaon, reaches Radha’s village of Barsana with Abil-gulal (sand color), accompanied by his close friends. They tried to color Radha and her friends. But, Radha and her friends formed a loving resistance With sticks (lath), but Krishna returns the blows and colors Radha. According to the tradition of this story, even now, the boys and girls of Nandgaon and Barsana celebrate Holi in the same way.

 

 

Barsana: The Unique Temple of Radharani and the Tradition of Pure Love

 Lathmar Holi in Barsana, Where Culture Comes Alive: Dive into Tradition

Images, sculptures, and temples of Radha-Krishna are found in many places, but the only temple of Radharani without Krishna is in Barsana. Barsana is the birthplace of Krishna’s beloved friend Radharani. Radha-Krishna’s love is deep but not carnal or physical. According to that tradition, there is no intermarriage between the boys and girls of Bharsana and Nandgaon, Even today.

In Braj-bhoomi and thus all over India, Holi begins with Barsana. The girls of Barsana go to Nandgaon to invite Krishna to be Radha’s sakhis. Prasadi is also sent along with it. People in Nandgaon warmly welcome them and accept the Holi invitation.

Eternal Festivity: Holi Celebrations in Braj – A Photographic Journey

The tradition of Holi in the name of mythological characters like Radha-Krishna in the Braj region (present day Uttar Pradesh), which is considered Krishna Bhumi, is celebrated with the same fervor even in the twenty-first century, as if no intervening time has passed. Some of the moments captured on camera during the ten-day long custom of Holi are presented here in the form of photo stories.

Holi in Braj-Bhoomi: Where Tradition Meets Celebration Lathmar Holi in Barsana, Where Culture Comes Alive: Dive into Tradition

Holi is a favorite festival in all of India. The festival has a special significance in the Hindi speaking states of northern India. In this case, the Holi of Braj-bhoomi in Uttar Pradesh is different. Holi celebration here is not limited to Holikadhaan or spreading colors; rather, the centuries-old story of Radha-Krishna is associated with it! Mathura, the birthplace of Krishna; Barsana, the birthplace of Radha; Vrindavan, the land of Krishna-lila, and Nandgaon, a part of it, are collectively known as Braj-bhumi.

The earliest celebration of Holi in India begins at Braj-bhumi. Even though Holi comes on full moon day (the fifteenth day), the atmosphere of Braj-bhumi begins to shine with colors on the ninth day. Sticks known as ‘Lath’ in Hindi are decorated, shields for hitting the sticks are decorated, local people get into the roles of Krishna-Radha and Gop-Gopis, and hundreds of tourists from the country and abroad throng to see them having fun playing Lathmar holi.

The Festivities Unfold

Lathmar Holi is a local celebration of the Hindu festival of Holi which takes in Barsana and Nandgaon scaled

Picture this: streets adorned with vibrant hues, laughter echoing through the air, and the rhythmic beats of traditional music setting the tone for revelry. Lathmar Holi unfolds against this backdrop of joy and merriment, drawing participants from far and wide to partake in the festivities.

Days before the main event, the town comes alive with preparations. Locals gather to make organic colors from flowers and herbs, ensuring an eco-friendly celebration that honors nature. As the auspicious day dawns, men from neighboring villages known as “gops” visit Barsana, where they are greeted by women armed with sticks, eagerly awaiting the chance to playfully enact the age-old tradition.

Laddu-holi: Celebrating Krishna’s Invitation in Barsana

In memory of the invitation accepted from Krishna’s village, ‘Laddu-holi’ is celebrated in Barsana in his honour. Laddu is thrown on the crowd of festival goers gathered in the temple, and people eat the laddu as prasad. Accompanied by the song-music and the burst of colors.

Beginning of Lathmar Holi

gettyimages 516084416 612x612 1

On the ninth day in the Falgun month of the Hindu calendar, a group of youths representing Krishna and companions from Nandgaon arrive at the temple first and traditionally receive permission from NandaYashoda for going to play Holi to Barsana with KrishnaBalrama. Leaving there, the youth first reach the Radharaman temple of Sanket-van. Barsana is located at a distance of about eight and a half kilometers from Nandgaon. On the way, the music continues. From Radharaman Temple, the youth reach Priyakund, where traditional decorations are put on. A special turban is worn on the head, which covers the head as well as the chin.

Priyakund: Where Music and Refreshments Herald the Holi Festivitiesgettyimages 1247576590 612x612 1

Music and food refreshment are held at Priyakund. Arriving in Barsana, the excitement of playing Holi fills the atmosphere. After reaching the temple of Radharani in Barsana, it is time for Lathmar Holi! For this, the boys of Nandgaon reach Rangili Gali. In this street, gopis dressed in various decorations and sarees are ready to welcome them with sticks. The youths have a shield to protect them from the blows of the sticks. Two-three-four men sit on the ground in turn, raise the shield held in both hands, swing it around the head, and protect themselves from the blows of the lathi.

Lathmar Holi: Tradition, Strength, and Songs of Braj Lathmar Holi in Barsana, Where Culture Comes Alive: Dive into Tradition

The strike is not very loose, but strong, and the strike hits the shield itself. No other part of the body is struck. In the Rangili Gali (colored street), only a few young people are having such a fight. One after the other, the boys keep changing. Children from Nandgaon also participate in it. If the shield cannot be lifted by the kids, an elder stands by their side, holding the shield over their head. The girls of Barsana lightly struck them with a stick.

All the while, the songs in the Braj-bhasha (Language of Braj) continue with a shower of colors with the bhang and thandai. Instead of film songs, local folk songs are the glory of Braj Holi.

After playing Lathmar Holi in Barsana on the ninth day, the next day the youths of Barsana go to paint the girls of Nandgaon. Laththmar Holi is also played here in Nandchowk. On that day, it is Nandgaon’s turn to strike and Barsana’s turn to bear the strike of sticks.

Temple Hues: Holi Celebrations Across Braj-Bhumi

From Ekadashi (the 11th day), all the temples of Braj-bhumi are in the mood of Holi. Devotees are showered with colors and colored water. In Mathura’s Bankebihari temple, the idol is dressed in white clothes to bring it closer to the public. Temple priests shower colors on the devotees. During the bhajan, the music plays.

Dauji ka Hudanga: The Unconventional Conclusion to Braj-Bhumi’s HoliFOLK DANCE IN BARSANA

The day after the Holi flame goes down and Holi is over across India, Baldev, a small village near Mathura, sees the last and wildest celebration of Braj-bhumi. In the festival known as ‘Dauji ka Hudanga’, in the temple of Krishna’s elder brother (Dauji) Baladeva, the women of the village also pull off the clothes of the local men and strangle them with the same. Outsiders can watch the celebration, but cannot participate in it. However, some tourists have experienced that once the shirt starts to be pulled, the distinction between locals and foreigners is no longer there.”

Experiencing Holi in Braj-Bhumi: Beyond Colors and Chaos

Tourists who cannot enjoy the crowd, colors, water, jostling, song-music, noise, or signature can enjoy the joy of Holi in Braj-bhumi by looking at its pictures. But if all those things that are considered to be the specialty of India do not matter, then the experience of Holi in Braj-bhumi is worth taking once.

A Cultural Extravaganzagettyimages 924147982 612x612 1

Lathmar Holi is a doorway into the rich fabric of Indian culture and history, not merely a time for color-bombing and lighthearted banter. Every element of the event, from elaborate folk dances like the Rasleela to lavish feasts highlighting the region’s gastronomic pleasures, symbolizes the deeply ingrained traditions and ideals that have been passed down through the ages.

Experiencing Lathmar Holi for tourists is like entering a living, breathing time capsule where mythology, history, and community come together to produce a show that will never be forgotten. In the middle of the festivities, the friendliness and kindness of Barsana’s locals will make you feel completely at home, regardless of your level of travel experience.

Preserving Heritage, Embracing Diversitygettyimages 924148282 612x612 1

In an age of rapid globalization, traditions like Lathmar Holi serve as poignant reminders of the importance of preserving our cultural heritage. As the world evolves, it’s crucial to cherish and celebrate the unique customs that define who we are and where we come from.

Moreover, Lathmar Holi exemplifies the spirit of inclusiveness and diversity, welcoming people of all backgrounds to partake in its joyous festivities. In Barsana, barriers dissolve as individuals come together to revel in the beauty of unity amidst diversity, fostering bonds that transcend linguistic, cultural, and geographical boundaries.

Schedule for Lathmar Holi in2024

Date Event Location
17 March 2024, Sunday Barsana Laddu Holi Sriji Temple Barsana
18 March 2024, Monday Barsana Lathmar Holi Main Holi Barsana
19 March 2024, Tuesday Nandgaon Holi Lathmar Holi in Nand Bhawan
21 March 2024, Thursday Vrindavan Holi Phoolwalon Ki Holi Bankey Bihari Temple, Rangbhari Ekadashi Holi in Vrindavan
21 March 2024, Thursday Mathura Holi Special Event at Birthplace of Lord Krishna Temple and all over Mathura
22 March 2024, Friday Gokul Holi Gokul Holi and Raman Reti Visit
24 March 2024, Sunday Holika Dahan (Holi Fire) Dwarkadhish Temple Dola and Mathura Vishram Ghat, Banke Bihari Vrindavan
25 March 2024, Monday Dhulandi Holi Dwarkadheesh Tesu Flowers / Abir Gulal Holi and Colorful Water Holi in Braj

Good to Know for a Perfect Trip….gettyimages 516440782 612x612 1

  • This year, the Lathmar Holi festival will start in Barsana on March 17, 2024. The next day, Holi will be celebrated in Nandgaon and then in Mathura-Vrindavan.
  • Mathura or Vrindavan can be chosen for an overnight stay during the color festival of Lathmar Holi. The distance between these two cities is only 12 kilometers. Many options for hotels and guesthouses are available in both places.
  • Mathura-Vrindavan can be reached by train. If you want to go by air, the nearest airport is Delhi, where, after landing, you can take a private taxi to Mathura-Vrindavan. A cheaper option is a bus trip from Delhi.
  • Huge crowds of people gather to celebrate this occasion. Hence, it is advisable to always stay in a group with friends and relatives. It is necessary to keep enough money in the pocket. Leaving valuables like wallets, mobile phones, jewelry, etc. in the hotel room.
  • Mathura-Vrindavan are cities known for delicacies made from pure ghee as well as sweets. Delicious, satvic food will be available here at the dhabas.

 

Travel Information for Barsana, Uttar Pradesh

Category Information
Location Barsana, Uttar Pradesh, India
Nearest Airport Agra Airport (AGR) – Approximately 100 km away
Nearest Railway Station Mathura Junction Railway Station – Approximately 50 km away
Local Transport Taxis, auto-rickshaws, and buses available from Mathura to Barsana
Accommodation Various guesthouses, hotels, and dharamshalas available in Barsana and nearby towns
Google Maps Barsana, Uttar Pradesh on Google Maps

Conclusion: Embrace the Spirit of Lathmar Holi Lathmar Holi in Barsana, Where Culture Comes Alive: Dive into Tradition

In conclusion, Lathmar Holi in Barsana isn’t merely a festival; it’s a celebration of life, love, and the timeless bonds that connect us all. From its humble origins rooted in mythology to its modern-day incarnation as a global phenomenon, this vibrant tradition continues to captivate hearts and inspire awe.

So, if you’re yearning for an authentic cultural experience that transcends borders and leaves a lasting imprint on your soul, look no further than Lathmar Holi. Join the jubilant crowds, immerse yourself in the kaleidoscope of colors, and let the spirit of camaraderie and joy envelop you as you embark on a journey to remember.

Come, dive into tradition. Come, experience Lathmar Holi in Barsana, where culture comes alive in all its splendor.gettyimages 140618531 612x612 1

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