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Lathmar Holi at Barsana 2024: Date, history, significance and all about this unique Holi celebration

The Festival of Colours – Holi – is right around the corner. It falls on the Purnima Tithi in the month of Phalguna. This year, it falls on March 25. It is one of the most significant festivals celebrated with pomp across India and around the globe. Apart from Diwali, Holi is the biggest celebration on the Hindu calendar. It celebrates the eternal love and union of Lord Krishna and Radha, which is why their devotees congregate at Krishna’s birthplace every year to mark Holi.

Lathmar Holi of Barsana is observed with much pomp every year. (HT_PRINT)

Different Holi customs are observed all around the country. Among them, Braj Ki Holi is one of the most famous celebrations, held for ten days and marked by people from Vrindavan, Mathura and Gokul. This year, the celebrations began on March 17 with Laddu Holi celebrated in Barsana, where women playfully hurl laddoos at men. After Laddu Holi, people celebrate Barsana’s Lathmar Holi the next day.

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Barsana’s Lathmar Holi 2024: Date, History and Significance:

This year, Barsana’s Lathmar Holi falls on March 18. The Lathmar Holi celebration goes on for a week annually. This ritual represents Lord Krishna’s thrashing with sticks (Lath) by Radha and Gopis. The legend goes that Krishna used to visit Radha and her friends in Barsana and Nandgaon to bother them. He also smeared colour on Radha and Gopis’ faces, which is why they thrashed him with sticks.

A similar custom is reproduced consistently during Holi. Men from surrounding cities, particularly Mathura, travel to Barsana to participate in this special celebration. During this period, men tease the ladies, and they counter their advances by beating them with sticks and attempting to drive them out. The ones who get trapped are made to dress up as ladies and dance in the open. The same custom is also observed in Nandgaon.

Apart from playing with Lath, Lathmar Holi celebrations involve dancing, singing, and playing with gulaal. People also prepare Thandai, a traditional milk drink, and Gujiya.

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