Lathmar Holi - The Celebration & the Tradition

The most colourful festival of the year is soon about to smear us with vibrant hues. Holi is among the most awaited festivals in the country that is all the riots of fun, dancing, colours and togetherness. With smiles and sweets all around, Holi is celebrated differently in different parts of the country. But if you want to witness and celebrate Holi the traditional style, Barsana and Nandgaon are the places to be after Mathura. Here’s all about the centuries-old custom where women beat men with sticks - an unusual twist from the colour pelting.

Lathmar Holi - The Celebration & the Tradition

What does Lath Mar Mean?

The term Lath means stick while Mar means to beat. Hence, the term Lathmar Holi is the festival of Holi where sticks are used to beat playfully.

How is Lath Mar Holi Celebrated?

It is celebrated a week before the actual festival of Holi. The key ritual revolves around menfolk trying to smear women with colour, while the latter protects themselves with lathis or sticks. Such an extraordinary Holi celebration usually lasts for 4 days. The first day involves women putting colour on the men while everyone sings folk songs and dances. You will find sweet shops overflowing with a cold and refreshing drink, i.e. thandai.

The men visit the village the next day, to be beaten up by women with sticks. Men who fail to escape the bashing are made to sing and dance in front of everyone. All of this is done in a fun-filled manner with faith in mind.

What is the Mythological Story Behind Lath Mar Holi?

The legend has it that Lord Krishna (a mischievous romantic) visited his beloved Radha’s village (Barsana) with his friends on this day. Together, they teased her and her friends playfully. Offended, Radha and her friends chased the Lord and his friends with sticks in hands. The festival is a celebration of this legend.

Altogether, the festival is played with a lively spirit, pure enthusiasm and unlimited laughter.