Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Thousands play Laddu Holi in Barsana

The town of Barsana in Brij region celebrated its unique Laddu Holi on March 03. The revelries of Laddu Holi began at Shree Radha Rani temple at around 4:30 pm and soon the whole ambience got covered in the red hue. Thousands of visitors who reached Barsana from various parts of the country as well as from abroad threw tons of Gulal on one another. Amid all the fun and frolic, tones and tones of Laddus were thrown on revellers from the temple terrace. Men, women, young and old, all were seen trying to get a hold on just one Laddu. Splashing colour in every direction, Laddus being thrown on and beats of folk music created a super charged atmosphere.  

Laddu Holi celebrations in Barsana

People trying to get Laddu during the celebrations

The Holi of Brij is not a one-day event but a series of unique celebrations that stretch for 40 days known as Faag Mahotsava. Laddu Holi of Barsana is a part of Faag Mahotsava and is organized on the Ashtami Tithi of Phalguna Shukla Paksha. Devotees from faraway places flock this ancient town to witness this extraordinary Holi festivity.  
Dance and Music
Holi celebrations are incomplete without dance and music and how can Laddu Holi miss the most vital part of Holi celebrations. Men and women clad in traditional attire sang beautiful folk songs in Brij Bhasha depicting various Krishna Leelas. They sang Rasiya, a form of folk music in Brij, accompanied with traditional percussion. The whole atmosphere got so charged up that every person present there joined in to groove on the beats of traditional Holi songs like Nandagaon Kau Padau Barsane Aayo Hori Kau Pakwan Bhar-Bhar Jhori Khayau…, Rangili Holi Chalo Shyam Se Barsane Mein Khelege…amongst many others.

The priest and folk singers clad in traditional attire singing Holi songs

Legend behind Laddu Holi
The official priest of Barsana Girdharilal Shrautriya told Drik Panchang that the tradition of playing Laddu Holi finds its significance in one the various Krishna Leelas of Dwapar Yuga. The legend goes like this –
Father of Shree Radha Rani, Vrishbhan once sent a priest to extend his invitation to Nanda Baba inviting Lord Krishna to play Holi at Barsana. After a few days, Nanda Baba sent his priest to deliver the message of his acceptance of the invitation. After hearing that Kanha would come to Barsana to play Holi, everyone, especially Gopis got so excited that they began to smear the priest with Gulal. Being caught completely off guard, the priest threw whatever that was in his hands towards the Gopis. It so happened that at the time of this incident, the priest was having sweets, thus he playfully retaliated by throwing Laddus on Gopis. Since then the tradition of playing Laddu Holi began in Barsana.     

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