• 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
  • A group of veiled women wait to beat men with sticks during "Lathmar Holi" at Barsana in the northern Indian state of Uttar PradeshReuters
  • "Lathmar Holi" at BarsanaReuters
  • A man daubed in colours sings religious songs as he celebrates "Lathmar Holi" at BarsanaReuters
  • Men daubed in colours sing religious songs as they celebrate "Lathmar Holi" at NandgaonReuters
  • "Lathmar Holi" at NandagaonReuters
  • A man with his face daubed in colours celebrates "Lathmar Holi" at NandgaonReuters
  • People throw coloured powder as they celebrate "Lathmar Holi" at NandgaonReuters
  • Hindu devotees are showered with petals as they gather inside the Bankey Bihari temple during Holi celebrations in Vrindavan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 1, 2015Reuters
  • People spray coloured foam on women as they walk in a lane near the Bankey Bihari temple during Holi celebrations in VrindavanReuters

The festival of colours will be observed across India on 6 March, but people of Uttar Pradesh already began celebrating the popular 'Lathmar Holi' in Barsana from 26 February.

Barasana is a small town located in Mathura district whcih is also the birth place of Radha. It is belived that on this particular day men of Nandgaon (hometown of Lord Krishna) 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. This activity of fun is popularly known as "Lathmar Holi."

The next day, the men of Barsana drench the women of Nandgaon and everybody enjoys the occasion with Krishna leela songs.

Hindu mythology says that Lord Krishna received similar treatment from 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.

Holi is celebrated for more than two weeks in Vrindavan and Mathura.

From Krishna-Radha performances, Lathmar Holi, to worshipping at the Bankey Bihari temple, a large number of visitors arrive at these places each year to celebrate the festival.

Check out the above slideshow of people celebrating Holi in UP.

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