Lathmaar Holi is celebrated in Barsana, a small village at a distance of about 15 km from Vrindavan. It is known throughout India for its traditional Holi celebrations. No other city in the country can match the grandeur of the festival here. Barsana is actually the birth place of Lord Krishna's beloved and divine consort, Radha. This is also the place where Lord Krishna used to play pranks on his beloved and Gopis (Radha’s companion). This naughty festivity still reflects in the celebrations of Holi in this village. Holi here is regarded as the celebration of the divine love of Radha and Krishna.
According to the folklore and mythological tales, Krishna in one of his pranks, applied dark colors on the cheeks of Radha, as she was fairer than him. This initiated the tradition of celebrating Holi not only here but in the whole country. Following the tradition, men from Nandgaon, the place where Krishna spent his childhood and early days, come to play Holi with the women of Barsana. Here, women and girls welcome them not with colors, but with stout sticks.
All this takes place in pursuit of men, trying to put a flag on the temple dedicated to Radha Rani. To stop them from doing so, women beat them hard with sticks. Some of them are even made to wear saris and skirts, all in the spirit of the festival. On the other hand, men, knowing what awaits them, come fully padded, carrying shields to protect themselves. The sight of women beating men is electrifying. The environment echoes with the reverberating sound produced by the stick hammering the shields.
Lathmaar Holi is definitely an interesting Holi celebration, wherein men patiently face the charged womenfolk. This is considered the sweet revenge women take for the ancient pranks played by Lord Krishna on them. However, after all the women folk is tired and their game is over, it is now the chance for the men to reciprocate. They drench the women with the colors of kesudo (a natural dye) and palash, thereby balancing the deal. At the end of the day, the Holi celebrations at Barsana present an unforgettable life time experience, downed with the spirit of devotion and affection for the Lord.