• People throw coloured powder as they celebrate "Lathmar Holi" at Nandgaon, MathuraReuters
  • People busy with Holi shopping at Sadar Bazar in New Delhi.IANS
  • A man shields himself from a woman playfully beating him with a stick during "Lathmar Holi" at Barsana in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, February 27, 2015. In a Holi tradition unique to Barsana, 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 IndiaReuters
  • People busy with Holi shopping at Sadar Bazar in New Delhi.IANS

It's the time of the year when Indians across the world are gearing up for the festival of Holi which falls on 6 March this year.

There are several places in the country where the festival of colours is celebrated in unique ways.

Mathura – Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh

People of UP celebrate Holi in a different manner. The Barsana Holi, also known as Lathmar Holi is played in Barsana and Nandgaon, hometown of Radha and Lord Krishna, in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh.

It is believed that on this particular day men of Nandgaon come to Barsana to take over "Shri Radhikaji" temple. To protect it, the women of the place resist them with bamboo sticks or lathi.

In their defence, the men can only splash colours on women and if they are caught, then they are forced to wear women's clothes.

Hindu mythology says that Lord Krishna received similar treatment from the gopis when he used to visit Barsana with his friends to put coloured water on the girls. In retaliation, Radha and the other gopis chased them, and beat them up with sticks.

Shantiniketan, West Bengal

Basanta Utsav (Spring Festival) was a tradition started by Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore at Shantiniketan in West Bengal. The celebration includes students putting up cultural programmes based on Tagore's songs and they also dress up in spring colour outfits.

Anandpur Sahib, Punjab

Hola Mohalla, which is an annual fair in Punjab, was first organised by Sikh Guru Gobind Singh on the occasion of Holi. However, instead of playing with colours, one will get to see demonstration of physical activities including martial arts, wrestling, mock sword-fights and turban tying.

Udaipur, Rajasthan

Udaipur's Mewar royal family celebrates the festival in Rajasthan in a royal manner. A procession will take place from the royal residence to Manek Chowk at the City Palace on the day before Holi. One can enjoy the view of procession, which will include royal band and bedecked horses.

New Delhi and Mumbai

New Delhi and Mumbai's Holi celebration will be full of fun with colours, water, music and of course the traditional drink bhaang thandai.

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