Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lathmar Holi

Lathmar Holi is celebrated in Barsana, the birth place of Radha. This year it was celebrated on March 24, 2013.

As the name suggests, in this Holi the girls hit the boys with sticks. As per mythology, Lord Krishna visited his beloved Radha's village on this day and playfully teased her and her friends. Taking offence at this, the women of Barsana chased him away. Since then, men from Krishna's village, Nandgaon, visit Barsana to play Holi in the town which has the distinction of having the only temple dedicated to Radha in India. The Holi is unique as women chase men away with the sticks. The men also sing provocative songs in a bid to invite attention of the women and women then go offensive with Lathies to beat men who protect themselves with shields.

Only mythological answer I can think of Lathmar Holi is that this holi represents cleaning of the mind towards physical attraction to the women and lust. The five vices  are Kaama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha and Ahankar. Moh or attachment and lust need to be removed before Holi is celebrated. The burning of Holika means burning of sum total of all the five vices. During this festival, one tries to get rid of sexual lust. Other dedicated festivals where one tries to get rid of sexual lust are:

1.       Worship of Nandi which means you cannot enter a temple with sexual desires and you keep your Nandi or bull nature outside the temple before you enter. Nandi is always worshiped outside the Shiva Temple.
2.       During meditation, you need to take away your sexual desires first. In journey to  Amarnath, Nandi was left first by Lord Shiva and Parvati.
3.       Raksha Bandhan, Bhaiya Dooj and Krishna Balram Subhadra Yatra during Jagannath Puri Yatra are all festivals where sexual lust towards women are neutralized. 

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