Lathmar Holi

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Devotees inside Krishna temple during Lathmaar holi.

Lathmar Holi (लठमार होली) (laṭṭhamār holi) is a local celebration of the Hindu festival of Holi. It takes place days before the actual Holi in the neighbouring towns of Barsana and Nandgaon near Mathura in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where thousands of Hindus and tourists congregate, each year.[1][2][3] The name means "Holi of lath" (laṭh is a thick wooden staff). They are seen as the highlights highlights for the town. The festivities take place at the Radha Rani temple in Barsana, allegedly Holi's only temple dedicated to the Goddess Radha.[4] The Lathmar Holi festivities last for over a week, where the participants dance, sing and immerse themselves in colour while drinking some thandai--a traditional drink synonymous with the festival of Holi.


Associated with a Hindu legend that can be linked to Lord Krishna and Radha, the festival seeks to recreate a famous Hindu legend. In this, Nandagon-based Lord Krishna visited Barsana, the Radha's town he loved. According to legend, Krishna teased Radha and her friends, who was offended by his advances and drove him out of Barsana. As such, Nandagonian men visit Barsana every year and are greeted by women hurling sticks (aka lathi) at them. The men try to protect themselves but those who fail are captured by these women who then dress them in female apparel and make them dance in public. [5]

Color Drenched people in Krishna Temple
Women waiting for men during lathmar.
Women using lathis.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What is Lathmar Holi? Why is it celebrated?". India Today. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Lathmar Holi 2014: 12 Stunning Photos That'll Transport You To India For When It Is Spring". Huffington Post, Canada. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "नंदगांव में लट्ठमार होली की उमंग". Aaj Tak, Dharma. 15 March 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Radha Rani Mandir Barsana | Barsana Temple | how to reach, timings". Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  5. ^ "What is Lathmar Holi? Why is it celebrated?". India Today. 28 February 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2021.

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