Holi is celebrated in different parts of the country with different names. Barsana, Mathura, Nandgaon and Vrindavan are some of the places where Holi is celebrated in a traditional way from the last many years. Holi is also celebrated in Barsana. Barsana is situated 42 kilometres away from Mathura and is the birthplace of Radha. In Barsana, Holi is celebrated by the name ‘Lathmaar Holi’. Holi festival binds the people from different religion and caste into a single thread.
Nandgaon is the place which is famous as the land of God Krishna. All the men from Nandgaon come to play with the girls of Barsana. They use sticks to play with the girls also known as gopis rather than colours to play Holi. The main motive of men coming from Nandgaon is to host flag on the temple of Radha situated at Barsana in order to claim their victory. The women from Barsana stop them by holding bamboo sticks in their hands. It is celebrated for almost a week in different temples of Radha-Krishna. They enjoy this festival and spread colours of their happiness.
The famous story behind the celebration of Holi in Barsana is linked with Mathura, Braj and Vrindavan. It is celebrated in the memory of the most romantic couple Radha-Krishna that describe their love among each other. One day, Lord Krishna asked his mother Yashoda why Radha was so fair in complexion than him. Lord Krishna had dark complexion. Mother Yashoda gave him advice to put colour of their own choice on the face of Radha so that her complexion gets changed. Krishna ji followed the same path as shown by his mother. Till from that day, this day is celebrated as Lathmar Holi.
Married women of Barsana play this Holi festival with their husbands. On this day, they beat their husband, fully dress them as female and have to dance publically. They play sweet pranks on their husbands. The husbands in return make every possible efforts to apply colour on their face. Preparation of Lathmar Holi starts from many days before the day of Holi. The ceremony of Lathmar Holi starts from Radha Rani temple. At the end of the ceremony, men move out of the temple and visit Rang Rangeeli Gali where they play Holi with all the girls standing on the street.
On the very next day, now it’s the turn of men living at Barsana. Women coming from Nandgaon beat them and they in return try to escape themselves. They try to drench the women of Nandgaon in the natural colours i.e. orange-red dye and palash. These colours are known as kseudo. They drink thandai made up of Bhang after every interval of time. Thandai when mixed with bhang change their mood and they react in different way. Some people start crying while some starts laughing. They together enjoy traditional sweets like gujia, malpua, etc and mouth-watering snacks like dahi bada, puran poli, papad matari, etc. This increases the charm of the festival. It looks so beautiful and many visitors especially visit at Barsana on this special occasion.