“Lathmar Holi” – Festival of Colours


A Hindu devotee with his face daubed in colours reacts to the camera while taking part during “Lathmar Holi” at the village of Barsana in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 9, 2014. In a Holi tradition unique to Barsana and Nandgaon villages, men sing provocative songs to gain the attention of women, who then “beat” them with bamboo sticks called “lathis”. Holi, also known as the Festival of Colours, heralds the beginning of spring and is celebrated all over India. (Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters) Continue reading »

Lathmar Holi: It’s Playtime for Men and Women in an Indian Village

The Holi festival of colors is a riotous celebration of the coming of spring and falls on the day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna (early March) every year.

In addition to celebrating spring, Holi commemorates various events in Hindu mythology and is a time of disregarding social norms and indulging in general merrymaking. During Holi, Hindus attend a public bonfire, spray friends and family with colored powders and water, and generally go a bit wild in the streets.

According to one tradition which has its roots in Hindu mythology, men from Lord Krishna’s village of Nandgaon are beaten by the women of Barsana, home of Lord Krishna’s lover Radha. It is said that Lord Krisna’s relatives used to tease Radha and her friends, and were beaten by them in return. Even to this day, marriage between men and women from the two villages are discouraged. (Photography by Kevin Frayer/Associated Press, Reuters) Continue reading »