Lathmaar Holi photo feature

Tripoto
14th Mar 2019
Photo of Lathmaar Holi photo feature 1/10 by Mayank Soni
When the men from Nandgaon walk past, they playfully hit the shields they carry, just like Radha’s friends chased Krishna off when he came to visit her. Much giggling accompanies this ritual in which the men are “punished” for Krishna’s mischievous ways

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The Holi celebrations rooted in the stories of Lord Krishna of Braj Bhoomi, is stuff of legends. While the rest of the country is content with splashing of colours just for a day, here in the land of its origins, it goes on for more than a week. It begins with the age old tradition of Lathmar in Barsana, hometown of Radha, where women wielding six foot long sticks take to the streets, to give the men of neighboring Nandgaon a sound trashing. The next day it is the turn of for the men Barsana to visit Nandgaon and they are meted out with the same treatment. The play however is only ritualistic and men get hit only on the padded shields they carry.

Lathmaar dates for 2019 - March 14-17

Photo of Lathmaar Holi photo feature 2/10 by Mayank Soni
The week-long celebrations in Barsana are kicked off with Laddoo Holi, during which it literally rains laddoos at the Radha Rani Temple. Troupes of local singers, red with gulal, sing as laddoos are thrown as prasad at devotees
Photo of Lathmaar Holi photo feature 3/10 by Mayank Soni
Elders from Nandgaon gather near the entrance to Rangili Gali to sing love ballads about Radha and Krishna
Photo of Lathmaar Holi photo feature 4/10 by Mayank Soni
During Lathmar Holi, the women of Barsana wait outside their gaily-painted homes, armed with lathis
Photo of Lathmaar Holi photo feature 5/10 by Mayank Soni
Before the actual Lathmaar begins, the natives of Nandgaon sing songs of Radha-Krishna
Photo of Lathmaar Holi photo feature 6/10 by Mayank Soni
Women of Barsana dance at the Rangili Gali
Photo of Lathmaar Holi photo feature 7/10 by Mayank Soni
As the natives of Nandgaon are given a sound trashing as they pass through Rangili Gali
Photo of Lathmaar Holi photo feature 8/10 by Mayank Soni
A couple of months before Holi, women of Barsana take up a diet of ghee and dry fruits so as to be able to yield these heavy sticks
Photo of Lathmaar Holi photo feature 9/10 by Mayank Soni
Next day, its time for the men of Barsana to visit the hill-top temple at Nandgaon and sing traditional songs
Photo of Lathmaar Holi photo feature 10/10 by Mayank Soni
The flag bearers of Barsana village heading to Nandgaon temple
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