Holi in Barsana

Posted on February 25, 2017 by

Holi is known as the festival of colors and all around fun, but here in Barsana, the birthplace of Radha, Holi is having a completely different facade. The enjoyment level is no less, though. The Barsana village happens to be about 42 kilometers away from Mathura, the birthplace of lord Krishna.

The men have carried on the routine that has been there for ages and they make their trip to Barsana, in order to play Holi with the local girls and women. They play with colors but that is not the case with the women, they are there all prepared to welcome them with sticks. Some men get in the race of hoisting a flag over Radhikaji’s temple but they too get beaten up quite bad instead.

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This is all in fun and there are no hard feelings. After all, the festival is popular for the pure fun that it provides all over the country. But as you can guess, in Barsana, the picture is completely different. But then there is the catch that many places nearby, especially in Haryana, the festival gets celebrated with more or less the same brutality as the Holi in Barsana, which also happens to be known as Lathmaar Holi.

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But the real fun starts when the men from Mathura plan in advance about how to save themselves from the brutal hits they are going to get. However, they keep in mind the very fact that they can just not retaliate, they can just find ways to avoid the brutal beatings. The spirit of Holi is felt at its very best when despite all the planning, some men get captured by the women of Barsana and receive a tough dose of unconventional love from the women and the girls. And when the time is tougher for them, they are forced to wear women attire and roam around the village. Sounds like quite a lot of fun, but not for men really. The spirit and the level of enthusiasm in people about the festival are magnetic and there is not an ounce of doubt about why a lot of people from different parts of the country come to witness and participate in the madness. 

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Poets like Surdas have mentioned in detail how Krishna was also made to suffer these atrocities once. He was known to be quite a charmer and usually went to Barsana to play Holi with the women there, especially Radha. He once got captured and received the severed beating from the women and was made to don a saari and makeup.

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Despite all the fun, there are some things that do harm the spirit of the festival. The government has done enough to keep that away. A huge open ground has been allotted to the festivities on the outskirts of the village, where the men and women play freely. The celebrations go on for about a week.

This enthusiastic display of colors and happiness is what makes the country colorful and magnetic. In the recent few years, a few foreigners are also seen dwelling themselves in the colors of Holi and enjoying themselves with an open heart. That is when they give their heart to this beautiful charmer of a country.

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