With ‘Latha-maar’ Holi on Friday, Braj starts basking in festive fervour
The fiesta of colours would begin in Braj with ‘Laddoo Holi’ at Radha Rani Temple or Ladliji Temple in Barsana on March 10 (Thursday) and reach its pinnacle on Friday with the famous ‘Latha-maar’ Holi in Barsana in Mathura district.
Agra The state may be aflutter with political activity post the state assembly elections but in Mathura, the focus is on the famous ‘Latha-maar’ Holi, with its epicenter in Barsana, on Friday.
To note, the nation celebrates Holi on one day but in Braj (Mathura and area around, known as Krishnaland) it is an extended affair of 50 days with celebrations beginning from Basant Panchami and festivities continuing even after the day of Holi, as per Mohan Swaroop Bhatia awarded Padam Shri for his work on Braj literature.
The fiesta would begin with ‘Laddoo Holi’ at Radha Rani Temple or Ladliji Temple in Barsana on March 10 (Thursday) and reach its pinnacle on Friday with the famous ‘Latha-maar’ Holi in Barsana in Mathura district.
As per the tradition, Radha’s ‘sakhis’ (friends) from Barsana (village of Radha) will reach Nandgaon (village of Krishna) first and invite villagers for ‘Latha-maar’ celebrations the next day. After the ‘huriyare’ (Krishna’s friends) accept the invitation, celebrations will start with ‘Laddoo’ Holi at Ladliji temple on Thursday, with devotees being showered with sweets and colours amid singing of traditional songs.
The next day (March11 ), when the ‘gop’ (also Krishna’s friends) will reach Barsana, they will protect themselves with ‘dhal’ (shield) and ‘pag’ (headgear) against the ‘lathi’ (baton) of the ‘gopis’ (Radha’s friends) during ‘Latha-maar’ Holi. The occasion will be celebrated with colours, sweets and music.
Rangili Gali will be the focal point in Barsana all through the day and every visitor of Nandgaon will make it a point to reach there to
“Take any lane and it would lead to Radha Rani temple. Radha was born at the nearby village Rawal but was brought up here,” said a local from Barsana.
On Saturday, the ‘gopis’ of Barsana will visit Nandgaon, when the ‘Latha-maar’ Holi festivities will soak the lanes of Krishna’s village.
“Then there are ‘Huranga’ celebrations in the days after Holi, in various parts of Braj - Dauji, Jaav and Bathen. Rituals like devotees walking on burning ash at Falen and Jatwari are also a popular part of the celebrations. Another attraction of the 50-day festivities is the traditional ‘Churukula’ dance that is performed in several villages here, including Mukhrai,” said Mohan Swaroop Bhatia.
The temples in Mathura become the centres of these festivities. It is primarily a Holi with powdered gulal and the most favoured colour is the herbal ‘tesu’ (yellow) colour. Some of the visitors, including foreigners, dress as ‘Krishna’ and dance to Holi songs sung by ‘goswamis’ ( temple priests).
Schedule for Holi festival in Mathura
March 10 – Laddoo Holi, Barsana
March 11 – Latha-maar Holi at Barsana
March 12 – Latha-maar Holi at Nandgaon
March 14 – Holi at Dwarkadheesh Temple
March 14 – Holi at Sri Bankey Behari Temple, Vrindavan
March 16 – Chhadi-Maar Holi int Gokul
March 17 – Holi Ka Dhola, Mathura
March 18 – Holi Festival
March 20 – Huranga at Baldev