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  • A widow daubed in colours takes part in the Holi celebrations at Vrindavan.Traditionally in Hindu culture, widows are expected to renounce earthly pleasure so they do not celebrate Holi. But women at this shelter celebrated the festival by throwing flowers and coloured powderReuters
  • Widows play Holi in VrindavanReuters
  • Widows play Holi in VrindavanReuters
  • Widows play Holi in VrindavanReuters
  • Widows play Holi in VrindavanReuters
  • 105-year-old widow Kanak Lata play Holi in VrindavanReuters
  • Widows play Holi in VrindavanReuters
  • Widows play Holi in VrindavanReuters
  • Widows play Holi in VrindavanReuters
  • Lathmar Holi in MathuraReuters
  • Holi celebration in Nandgaon temple, MathuraReuters
  • Holi celebration in Nandgaon temple, MathuraReuters

The festival of colours, Holi, will be observed across India March 24 this year, but people of Uttar Pradesh have been celebrating the popular Lathmar Holi in Mathura since last week. The most spectacular sight was when the widows celebrated Holi with great fervour in Vrindavan.

Around hundreds of widows have been rejoicing this festival for a couple of years by breaking an age-old tradition. In the photos, widows looked cheerful and this noble initiative was taken by social service organisation, Sulabh International.

"I am thankful to organisers who provided me an opportunity to witness Holi in front of the principal deity of Gopinath temple," 105-year-old widow Kanak Lata, who was in a wheelchair, told the Press Trust of India

Apart from the celebration in Vrindavan, the people of Mathura rejoiced the festival with Lathmar Holi. This unique type of Holi is mainly celebrated in Barasana, which is a small town located in Mathura district and is also the birth place of Radha.

It is believed that on this particular day men of Nandgaon (hometown of Lord Krishna) come to Barasana to take over Shri Radhikaji temple. To protect it, the women of the place resist them with lathi (bamboo sticks). In their defence, the men can only throw colours on women and if they are caught, then they are forced to wear women's clothes.

According to the Hindu mythology, Radha along with gopis gave Lord Krishna and his friends similar treatment when they used to visit Barasana to put coloured water on the girls. Holi is celebrated for more than two weeks in Vrindavan and Mathura.

Check out the slideshow to see spectacular images of widows celebrating the festival of colours in Vrindavan and a few pictures of Lathmar Holi celebrated in Mathura.

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