At Holi- beat your men with sticks!

Two people inspired me to write this post on Holi- the Indian festival of color. The first -my gorgeous daughter,Geetika and second , a beautiful friend in Dublin, Ban.

 Geetika is far away in Toronto- going through a low spell- so I wanted to show her a lot of color with an added, all important twist- read on about this ‘twist’.  And Ban, who I was with at a film show where, on my description of Holi, said I must write about it.
Besides, it is too colorful not to get written about !
There are many stories from Indian mythology associated with Holi. You can read all about it by clicking here.

 

Indian Hindu devotees throw colored powder at the Radha Rani temple during the Lathmar Holi festival in Barsana.
Holi In Nandgaon village  Photo: Deccan Chronicle
What I do want to tell you about is something which we women get a strong urge to do once in a while- beat our men with sticks !  No- don’t go and tell me that you have never felt that way !
Well,my dear friends, there is actually a ritual in India practiced during Holi – where- satisfaction ,satisfaction– women beat men with sticks !!   It is called ‘Lathmar Holi’ (translated as ‘beating with sticks’ Holi– Holi being the festival of color). It is practiced in many parts of India but prominently in the villages, Barsana and Nandgaon, near Mathura in the north of India.
 In India mythology and religion are interwoven- quite like Greek legends. Hindu literature, poetry,music,art and ,indeed, many ‘religious’ books are full of stories of these combined God and Mortal characters ,particularly Krishna and his lover, Radha.
A legend of the life of Krishna has it that once Krishna,who was a great tease, toyed with the affections of Radha. When he later came to visit her–Radha and her women friends chased Krishna and beat him with sticks.
That is why to this day ‘Lathmar’ Holi is played in parts of India, but mainly Barsana and Nandgaon. In a colorful ritual women chase men and beat them with sticks.

Basically, I think it gives women a legitimate chance to do what they want to do quite often- physically beat their men !

Here they are- women in all their finery- ready with sticks !

 

 

Holi festival celebrations begin: Pics (© AFP)
 Photo: AFP
A man pleads for mercy !

 

India - Lathmar Holi Festival of Colors
Photo : Corbis images

 

And then it actually happens. But ,in all fairness, men are given shields to protect themselves !

 

 

India celebrates Lathmar Holi: The day women beat up men for teasing!
  Photo: IBN Live
And then,  people play with lots of color-both in powder and liquid form . What a riot of color and fun !
Holi in a temple in Nandgaon village. Photo: Sanjay Kanojia,AFP

 

Admit it now– don’t you want to do this ?

 Next time during Holi maybe you can lure your man to Mathura and participate in Lathmar Holi !  Beat and actually have fun doing it !

Because today is Holi -I wish all of you a wonderful Holi and a year full of color and joy !

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About Adity

Hello ! You are either already a friend or will become one--through this medium! I am an artist and jewellery maker, a wife and mother to two lovely children. Beautiful homes, food, nature and wonderful things happening around me make me ecstatic. That is why I started to write this blog-- to share with you all of these things. After all what good is any experience if not shared !
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2 Responses to At Holi- beat your men with sticks!

  1. rajani says:

    What fun and colours!For a change reversal of role!

  2. Once a month beating ritual might work well !

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