India | Uttar Pradesh | Barsana

Latthmar Holi

Latthmar Holi is a festival of colors celebrated at Barsana in Mathura District of Uttar Pradesh. This festival is a variation of the Holi festival celebrated in the rest of India. It is also known as Braj ki Hori or Braj ki Holi.

Latthmar Holi celebrates the love between Lord Krishna and his beloved Radha. Barasana is believed to be the native town of Radha. On this occasion, men from the neighboring village of Nandgaon (believed to be Lord Krishnaís native) try to reach the Shri Radhikaji Temple in Barasana and establish their flag. While trying to reach Barasana, they sing the famous Rasiya songs. But their advance towards the temple is blocked by the women of Barasana village. Women try to drive away the men with wooden sticks. Men try their best to reach the temple without being captured. Those who are captured are made to dress like a woman and forced to perform a dance. After receiving this punishment, the men are set free.

According to legend, Lord Krishna was captured by the women of this region. He was forced to wear a female dress and then perform a dance, before being released. The mock battle fight between the men and women during the festival reenacts the scenes from this legend.

On the second day of the festival, there is a fake invasion of Nandagoan by the men of Barsana. The women of Nandagoan beat up the invaders. The festival takes a colorful turn, with lots of pink and white colored powder thrown into the air. Special places are reserved for tourists to witness this special event. A large open space is specially set aside for this occasion.

The festival is celebrated in the temples of Vrindavan on the next day. The most prominent temple, where the celebrations take place is the Banke-Bihari temple. White and pink colored powders are dispersed on the devotees visiting the temple, to symbolize Lord Krishna playing Holi with his devotees.

Updated on 7th June, 2005
District: Mathura
Location: Barsana    


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