Lathmar Holi: When women charge men with sticks and make them wear girl's clothes

Asmita Kundu
Lathmar Holi in Uttar Pradesh

Two villages in Uttar Pradesh play Holi in style.

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Lathmar Holi is celebrated in the towns of Barsana and Nandgaon in Uttar Pradesh, just 115 km from New Delhi. Women hit men with lathis or wooden sticks as part of the festival.

According to the legend, Lord Krishna (who hailed from the Nandgaon village) used to visit Radha's town, Barsana, during the festival of Holi. Krishna teased Radha and her friends by rubbing colour on their faces. In response, he was playfully chased away from the village by Radha and her friends.

Holi 2017

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Following the tradition, men from Nandgaon village still visit Barsana and women wait for them with lathis or sticks to beat them. Men are only allowed to daub colour on women. They even make men wear female clothes and dance in public.

Holi 2017

The celebrations take place in the Radha Rani temple compound in Barsana village, which is said to be the only Indian temple dedicated to Radha. Holi is celebrated for more than a week here. Residents of Barsana and Nandgaon are keeping the tradition alive by celebrating Lathmar Holi year after year.

Holi 2017