Thursday, March 5, 2020

Barsana comes alive with the celebrations of Lathmar Holi

Barsana displayed its unique hue of Holi festivities with the world-famous Lathmar Holi on March 04. The celebrations were held at a place called Rangili Gali near Ladliji temple. The whole atmosphere was made alive with colorfully clad men and women and the beats of traditional music. The highlight of the celebrations was the lighthearted teasing of men and the playful retaliation of women by beating the men up with wooden sticks.  

Women beating up men with wooden sticks during the Lathmar holi in Barsana

Men or Gwalas as they are called in Nandagaon reached Barsana in large groups to play the Lathmar Holi with the Gopis of Barsana. Men were decked in traditional attire and headgear called Pagadi and women in Lehanga-Chunari for the occasion. Singing traditional Holi songs and laced with shields, water guns and Gulal the Gwala-Mandali made their way to Ladliji temple. To welcome the party, people of Barsana were ready with a large quantity of color made from Tesu flowers and huge water guns. As soon as the party reached the temple, they were drenched in the beautiful yellow color of Tesu flowers.

The revelries of Lathmar Holi began in Rangili Gali with the playful teasing and lighthearted jokes of men from Nandagaon. Women, ready with wooden sticks, beat them up amid the environment of high-spirited fun and laughter. Furthermore, the traditional Holi songs of Brij and the dancing enthralled everyone with the charm of the ancient land of Lord Krishna and Radha Rani. 

A dancer dancing on the beats of traditional Holi songs of Brij

Amidst all the fun, an age-old tradition of presenting a flag symbolizing Lord Krishna was also observed. As per the traditions, the flag was smeared in Gulal and decked in flower garlands for the ritual. Then, as a symbolic representation of Lord Krishna, it was taken in front of the statue of Shree Radha Rani at the Ladliji temple where the union of Radha-Krishna was performed by the temple priests. Afterwards, folk songs were sung in Brij Bhasha by groups of folk singers from Nandagaon and Barsana.  

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