It is Basant Panchami when the celebrations of Lathmaar Holi start with pomp and gaiety. The day of Holi marks the end of the fabulous ceremony. Devotees and holiday makers flock to the divine temple where gulal (colored powder) is thrown on them by the priests from a high platform. The essence of the festival is to celebrate the togetherness with bright colors. All the followers who assemble on the premise to be a part of the celebration wish to spend their lives with the bright sunshine and clouds of colors.
The interesting and colorful celebration continues over a period of 16 days. Populace partakes in several vibrant processions which go along with dance performers and singers. Sweet and mellow tunes of folk songs fill the air. The magnificence and zest is there for all the devotees who love the colors and like to smile.
Barsana (the birth place of Radha) and Nandgaon (the place where Krishna spent his childhood days) are the twin villages which are the integral parts of the celebrations. Barsana is the destination for all the holiday makers and devotees who congregate to observe the fervent form of Holi celebration, the Laathmaar Holi. All men of the village approach the Radha’s temple in Barsana to put a flag where as women hit them with lathis to keep them away and take revenge. Many of the women take it very seriously and many men receive sound thrashing from the women during the occasion. Some of the men are even forced to dance wearing saris by the women folk. All are done in the spirit of Holi.
Gulal Kund is a delightful lake, set in the awe inspiring natural milieu, adjacent to the Govardhan Mountain in Mathura. It is placed in the riveting and spellbinding orchard. Young boys and girls of the local groups perform and en act Holi scenes on the neighboring premise of the Gulal Kund for the interested tourists and followers.
To make the festival a bit more exciting and enjoyable, don’t forget to savor the special tastes of local delicacies. Kachori-Sabzi is the best breakfast to start the day with and the shop, located adjacent to the Holi gate is the best place to get the food from. Shankar Mithai wala is the vendor who supplies the mouth watering chhole- Bhature. For the sweet lovers Radhika sweets will arrange delectable and yummy Pedas, Rasmalai and Rabri. Last but not the least, bhang (cannabis) is an item without which the trip and celebrations are incomplete. Don’t miss to have the bhang either in the form of laddu or thandai during Holi.