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In a first, Lathmar Holi to be celebrated for six days

In a first, Lathmar Holi to be celebrated for six days
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For the first time, the popular Lathmar Holi of Barsana will be celebrated in two phases over a period of six days with the addition of Mathura as a host, officials said Wednesday

Mathura (UP): For the first time, the popular Lathmar Holi of Barsana will be celebrated in two phases over a period of six days with the addition of Mathura as a host, officials said Wednesday.

The attires worn by the participants will be more colourful and the venue will be given an attractive look this year, Shailjakant Mishra, Vice Chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Braj Tirth Vikas Parishad told PTI. To facilitate the ever-increasing domestic as well as international tourists, the two-day attraction which takes place in Barsana, has been extended to six days with the addition of Mathura as a host, he said. Traditionally, the festival was celebrated for two days in Barsana near Mathura.

"The entire area of Lathamaar Holi, including the attires of its participants would be given an attractive look," Mishra added. Celebrated a few days before Holi, Lathamar means playing with sticks. In the festival, men folk try to smear colour women who traditionally protect themselves with lathis or sticks. A meeting to finalise the proposals was attended by senior officers of the state government on Tuesday evening. The first phase of the celebrations will be held in Barsana over a period of two days on March 14 and 15 beginning with Laddu Holi.

It will be followed by a colourful procession depicting different varieties of Holi of Brajbhumi accompanied by bands etc. starting from Rangili Mahal and passing through the main streets of the town, Mishra said. The remaining four days of festivities will take place in Mathura between March 16 and 19. Since Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath may not attend the Rangotsava this year, due to declaration of Lok Sabha election schedule, Governor Ram Naik has been invited for the function, he said.

The winners of Radha Krishna sajsajja competition (children dressed as Radha-Krishna), Jal and Gobar Sanjhi (artistic impressions on water and using cowdung) competition would be rewarded, Mishra said, adding that children of foreign nationals too will participate in the competition. The temples of Barsana and Nandgaon would be decked up on the occasion and efforts will be made to reduce traffic congestion, he added.

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