Lathmaar Holi tradition in Braj Bhumi

In what is known as the hub of Holi in India – Barsana- the festival is known as Lathmaar Holi. 

The lath (stick) is in the hands of the women on this day and the men need to work a lot to save themselves from the immensely charged up womenfolk.

Following the tradition, men of Nandgaon, the birthplace of Krishna, come to play Holi with the girls of Barsana, but instead of colors they are greeted with sticks.

Completely aware of what welcome awaits them in Barsana, men come fully padded and try their best to escape from the spirited women. Men are not supposed to retaliate on the day. The unlucky ones are forcefully led away and get a good thrashing from the women. Further, they are made to wear a female attire and dance in public. All in the spirit of Holi.

The next day, it is the turn of men of Barsana. They reciprocate by invading Nandgaon and drench the womenfolk of Nandgaon in colors of kesudo, naturally occurring orange-red dye and palash. This day, women of Nadagoon beat the invaders from Barsana. It is a colorful site.

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