In Pictures: Lathmar Holi Hindu Festival
The Independent picture desk selects the best images from the festival
Ivy Lahon is Associate Picture Editor for The Independent and i and has been with the newspaper since 2004. Before joining the paper full time Ivy picture edited for The Guardian and Time Out and spent 2 years working with Amnesty International on various projects including the first book by former Amnesty Secretary General Irene Khan and the imagery for Amnesty’s 50th anniversary in 2011. She has an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography and has exhibited her own photography in the past.
Thursday 21 March 2013
The “Lathmar Holi” Hindu festival takes place in the Northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh today. Six days before India’s main Holi festival, famous for devotees throwing coloured powder at each other, the festival is a unique celebration to Barsana and Nandgaon villages. Here men sing provocative songs to gain the attention of women, who then “beat” them with bamboo sticks called “lathis”.
Legend proclaims that Hindu God Lord Krishna visited his partner Radha’s village on this day to tease her. Radha’s friends, the women of Barsana taking offence then chased Krishna out of the village using sticks. Since then the men of Nandgaon village annually visit the women of Barsana to pay homage to this sacred story. Holi, also known as the Festival of Colours, heralds the beginning of spring and is celebrated all over India.
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