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A colorful and energetic festival, Holi is celebrated by Hindus throughout India, and traditionally heralds the beginning of spring. While the national holiday occurs on March 27, there are regional versions that take place in the weeks beforehand. Lathmar Holi, for example, is a tradition unique to the Nandgaon and Barsana villages. Situated some 71 miles from New Delhi, Barsana is the legendary hometown of Radha, consort of Hindu God Krishna. This version sees men sing to gain the attention of women, who then playfully beat them with bamboo sticks.

The tradition of using colors on Holi also draws its roots from the legend of Radha and Krishna: It is said that Krishna envied Radha’s fair complexion, and after talking to his mother Yashod, she teasingly suggested that he should color Radha’s face.

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