Women in northern India beat up men with sticks to celebrate festival of colours

Hundreds of devotees in India's northern Barsana town ushered in festival of colours as they celebrated the famous 'Lath Maar Holi' wherein women beat up men with sticks.

According to Hindu scriptures, Lord Krishna from Nandgaon village paid a visit to his consort Radha’s Barsana town on this day and in a playful manner teased her and her friends. The women took offence at Krishna’s actions and chased him away with sticks in their hands. Since then, men from Lord Krishna’s village visit Barsana to play “Lath Maar Holi”.

After paying homage to the only temple dedicated to Radha in India, men sing songs in a bid to seek attention of women. The women, who pretend to be offended by their gestures, then use staves to beat up men folk who protect themselves with wooden shields.

Celebrated at the onset of spring, ‘Holi’ also holds a mythological importance – that of the triumph of good over evil. Though ‘Holi’ is a single-day affair elsewhere in India, it is almost a ten-day festival in Barsana and several other parts of Uttar Pradesh.

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