Laathmar Holi

If you are seeking an exceptional way to commemorate Holi, you might want to consider Lathmar Holi in Nandgaon and Barsana. This distinctive festival begins four to five days before the typical Holi celebrations in other parts of India, so be sure to plan your trip accordingly to fully enjoy it.

Nandgaon and Barsana: The Birthplace of Lathmar Holi

Nandgaon and Barsana, situated approximately 42 km from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, are renowned for their extraordinary way of celebrating Holi using sticks and colours. Lathmar Holi, the festival celebrated in these towns, derives its name from the playful banter between the men from Nandgaon and the women of Barsana.

The Legend of Lathmar Holi

lathmar Holi

According to legend, Lord Krishna playfully applied colour to his beloved Radha’s face during Holi when he visited Barsana. The women of Barsana took offence and chased him out of the town with bamboo sticks. Lathmar Holi recreates this episode from Lord Krishna’s life, and every year, men from Nandgaon visit Barsana to playfully tease and provoke the women, who retaliate by beating them with sticks and colours.

The week-long celebration is a feast for the senses, with traditional folk songs and dances, delicious food, and of course, the colourful powder that is thrown around during the festivities. The streets are filled with the intoxicating aroma of thandai, a traditional drink made with milk and herbs, including an edible form of cannabis called bhang.

Lathmar Holi

As a traveller, participating in Lath Mar Holi is an unforgettable experience that will immerse you in the rich cultural traditions of India. However, it’s important to respect the customs and traditions of the locals and to be aware of the potential dangers of the sticks and the crowd. With proper planning and precautions, you can enjoy the festivities and create memories that will last a lifetime.