The world-renowned Lathmar and Laddu Holi are celebrated in Barsana. This year, Laddu Holi will be played on 27th February, and Lathmar Holi will be played on 28th February in Barsana. People from all over the country and abroad visit Mathura and Barsana to witness these festivals. Here, Holi is celebrated with different traditions, some places have flower Holi, some have colors and gulal, while others play Laddu or Lathmar Holi.
The festival of colors, Holi, is celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout India. The Holi festival in the city of Lord Krishna, Mathura, and its surrounding areas starts many days before the actual festival. The Holi of Mathura, Vrindavan, and Barsana have many colors. People leave everything behind and immerse themselves in the devotion of Radha-Krishna during these festivals. People from all over the world come to witness these festivals in Mathura and Barsana.
The way people celebrate Holi in Mathura, Vrindavan, and Barsana is unique. Here, flower Holi, colors and gulal, Laddu, and Lathmar Holi are the traditions. Laddu Holi will be played on 27th February in Barsana, while Lathmar Holi will be played on 28th February.
Barasana, a small town in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, India is famous for its Lathmar Holi festival. In this festival, women known as Hurairin playfully beat men with sticks while singing Holi songs. Men, in turn, try to protect themselves by holding shields on their heads. The tradition is said to have originated about 5000 years ago, according to mythology. Legend has it that Lord Krishna once visited the town of Barasana to meet his beloved Radha, and started teasing her and her friends. In retaliation, the women of the town started hitting him with sticks. Since then, the tradition of Lathmar Holi has been observed in both Barasana and Nandgaon, a nearby village.
Today, young men from Nandgaon visit Barasana to play Holi, and the women of Barasana try to ward them off with sticks. If caught, the men are made to wear women’s clothes and dance in them. The festival is celebrated with much enthusiasm, and hundreds of kilos of sweets are distributed. The festival has become a major tourist attraction and draws visitors from all over the world.
It is said that the tradition of accepting an invitation to play Holi in Barsana from Nandgaon dates back to this very festival, which is still observed today. Hundreds of kilos of Laddoos are distributed here. Devotees from far and wide come to witness this Holi spectacle, and it is believed that those who receive the Laddoo prasad feel blessed.
The tradition of Laddoo Holi is rooted in a mythological story. According to the tale, during the Dwapara Yuga, an invitation was sent to the Sakhiyas of Barsana to come and play Holi in Nandgaon. Radharani’s father, Vrishbhanu Ji, accepted the invitation on behalf of Kanha’s father, Nand Baba, and also sent a letter of acceptance to a priest. Upon arriving in Barsana, the priest from Nandgaon was treated with great respect, and the Gopis of Barsana even smeared him with Gulal. However, the priest did not have any Gulal, so he started throwing the Laddoos from the Thaal at the Gopis instead. And thus began the tradition of Laddoo Holi. The people of Barsana and Nandgaon still uphold this tradition to this day.