Barsana's 'Lathmar Holi' 2024 Celebrations

  • Barsana's Lathmar Holi
  • Lathmar Holi in India
  • Colors and playful strikes
  • Holi festivities in Barsana

Get our Quarterly Newsletter for the latest business insights

Barsana's Lathmar Holi: A Riot of Colours and Playful Strikes

Before we talk about Barsana’s Lathmar Holi, “A Riot of Colours and Playful Strikes”, Let's proceed to quickly review Holi, the festival of colors. As a festival unique to our country, people celebrate it with great fervor and passion all across India. In 2024, Lathmar Holi is scheduled to occur on March 24 in Barsana and March 25 in Nandgaon.

With its diverse terrain, India celebrates this happy occasion in a style that is distinctive in every region of the country. There are various legends and stories about how Holi came to be celebrated.

Why is Holi celebrated?

One popular legend is the love story of Lord Krishna and Radha. According to popular belief, Lord Krishna, who had a dark complexion, was envious of Radha's fair skin. Being amused, Radha jokingly suggested that Krishna could change her complexion by applying colors to her face. Playfully he applied colours on Radha's face and thus started the tradition of playing with colours during Holi.

Another popular legend is the story of Holika and Prahlad. According to Hindu mythology, Demon Hiranyakashipu, being granted the boon of invincibility, decided to kill his son Prahlad who was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. In order to do so, he instructed his sister, Holika, to sit on a pyre with Prahlad in her lap while donning the fire-resistant cloak. But to everyone's surprise, Holika was burned to ashes while Prahlad emerged unscathed, signifying the victory of good over evil intentions. Holika Dahan is practised till now to commemorate this occasion.

Unique Holi Celebrations in India

As much as Holi is celebrated all over India, several regions have their own distinctive celebrations and customs. Below are the unique Holi events in India to look out for if you are planning for a trip-

● Lathmar Holi in Barsana and Nandgaon

● Holi with flowers in Vrindavan

● Holla Mohalla in Punjab

● Manjal Kuli in Kerala

● Dol Jatra in West Bengal

Barsana’s Lathmar Holi

The most vibrant and colorful celebration takes place in Barsana, a small town near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. Barsana’s Lathmar Holi traditional Holi celebration dates back centuries and is deeply rooted in Hindu mythology and folklore.

Lathmar Holi in Barsana is not just a festival of colors but a riot of colors and playful strikes. Celebrated a few days before the actual Holi festival, women chase and beat men with sticks, known as "lathis". Thousands of tourists and locals alike come to witness and participate in this unique cultural event.

Keep an open mind and don’t mistake this age-old playful practice to be some kind of dating. This practice is deeply rooted in Hindu mythology and here, we will talk about the story behind this traditional Holi celebration.

The legend behind Lathmar Holi in India

According to Hindu mythology, Barsana's Lathmar Holi dates back to the times of Lord Krishna and Radha. The legend goes that Lord Krishna, originally from the nearby village of Nandgaon, would visit Barsana to playfully tease Radha and her friends. To teach Lord Khrishna and his friends a lesson, the women of Barsana would chase them away with sticks. This lighthearted exchange is recreated every Lathmar Holi when the women of Barsana playfully beat the males who come from Nandgaon with sticks.

Cultural traditions in Barsana

Almost all the cultural traditions in Barsana are deeply rooted in heritage and mythology. Unlike other places, Holi festivities in Barsana begin a few days before the actual Holi festival, as men from Nandgaon proceed to Barsana, singing and dancing to traditional Holi songs. The women of Barsana, dressed in colorful traditional attire, eagerly await their arrival. As the men enter the town, women playfully beat men with sticks, reenacting the playful teasing between Lord Krishna and Radha.

This re-enactment of the ancient traditional Holi celebrations, coupled with music and the sound of lathis hitting shields, creates a vibrant and lively ambiance. After the playful beating, the men are offered sweets and drinks as a gesture of goodwill and are welcomed to participate in the colorful celebrations.

Lathmar Holi in Barsana is also celebrated vibrantly with colors. People covered in colorful powders sing and dance to the beats of traditional Holi songs called "Hori". Energetic folk dances like the Rasleela are also performed using traditional instruments like dholak, manjira and flute.

Bhajans or devotional songs praising Lord Krishna and Radha are also sung during Lathmar Holi in Barsana. Such practices serve as a means of preserving and passing on traditional music and folklore.

Lathmar Holi’s traditional sweets and drinks

Like every other festival, sweets and drinks are an integral part of Holi festivities in Barsana. Here are some of the popular sweets and drinks served during Lathmar Holi in India-


A traditional drink made with a mixture of milk, almonds, pistachios, saffron, cardamom and fennel seeds. It is often infused with bhang (cannabis paste) during Holi to add to the festive mood.


A deep-fried crispy sweet dumpling made with a filling of khoya (milk solids), coconut, and dry fruits.


A flaky, deep-fried pastry glazed with sugar syrup.


A soft, sweet confection made with khoya, sugar and cardamom.

Dahi Vada

A lentil dumplings soaked in curd and topped with sweet and spicy chutneys.

Contemporary relevance of celebrating Lathmar Holi in India

The practice of Lathmar Holi, with its playful strikes and gender-specific roles, raises questions about its relevance in modern times. While the festival is deeply rooted in tradition and mythology, there are aspects of it that may not align with contemporary values of gender equality and non-violence. In modern times, the way Lathmar Holi in India is celebrated may seem gender-biased, violent, and deeply rooted in patriarchy. To celebrate the festival more inclusively and respectfully, it may be important to reconsider certain aspects of Lathmar Holi to ensure that it is celebrated in a way that is enjoyable and meaningful for all participants.

One approach to strike two birds with a single stone could be to encourage both men and women to participate in the playful festivities without the use of sticks or any form of physical aggression. That way, we can preserve the cultural significance of Lathmar Holi's traditional Holi celebrations while also embracing contemporary modern values.

While adapting certain aspects of this traditional Holi celebration to reflect contemporary values, we should approach with utmost sensitivity and understanding of its cultural significance so that no religious and cultural sentiments are afflicted.


To conclude, Barsana's Lathmar Holi, a unique Holi event, is one of the most anticipated events in India due to its unique cultural traditions and festive atmosphere. Lathmar Holi in India is not just a festival but a celebration of love, friendship, and the triumph of good over evil. So, if you ever want to experience Holi festivities in Barsana, plan accordingly as the streets will be crowded, hotels will be filled and cabs will be booked way before the celebration starts. Book yourself a reliable cab service provider like WTicabs and they will navigate the crowded streets to witness the riot of colours and playful strikes.

Interested to know how WTicabs can impact your Employee Transportation Services and Car Rental needs?

Explore More Topics

Ready to brush up on something new? We've got more to read right this way.

Preview our



Preview our





Get in touch