“Lathmar” Holi celebrations begin in Barsana

March 16th, 2008 - 1:59 pm ICT by admin  

Barsana, (UP) Mar 16 (ANI): People in Barsana and its adjoining villages have begun celebrating the festival of colours — Holi — with traditional gaiety and fervour, a week ahead of the rest of the country.
Men and women in traditional costumes took part in a colourful procession here, about 50 kilometres from Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, sprinkling colours on each other.
Revellers sang folk songs and danced in groups as part of the Rasleela celebrations, recalling the romance of Lord Krishna and Radha, his consort.
Holi played at Barsana is unique in the sense that here women chase men away with sticks. Males also sing provocative songs in a bid to invite the attention of women. Women then go on the offensive and use long staves called “lathis” to beat men folk who protect themselves with shields.
“These sticks are expression of the romantic anger of Radha and her friends, asking why Lord Krishna and his shepherd friends do not live with them all the time. The beating is not intended to injure them, but depicts love,” said Sanjay Goswami, the president of the festival organizing committee.
Legend has it that Lord Krishna visited his beloved Radha’s village on this day and playfully teased her and her friends. Taking offence at this, the women of Barsana chased him away.
Since then, men from Krishna’s village, Nandgaon, visit Barsana to play Holi in the town which has the distinction of having the only temple dedicated to Radha in India. (ANI)

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