- Barsana Dhama
A game called "Huranga" is played during Holi even today
symbolizing the Radha-Krishna love play. The men of Nandagaon, where the
youthful Krishna played his pranks, and the women of Barsana, Radha's
birth place, come together and clash. The objective being that the men
put a flag on Radhika's temple at Barsana, symbolizing their victory
over the women of Barsana, while the women beat the men with stout
sticks to keep them away.
A land of ancient origins, intricate
cultures interwoven over great periods of time, Holi portrays the diversity
and the mythology of India to our senses even today
Hindu mythology is full of stories about Lord Krishna's childhood pranks.
And that of his youth when he with his mischief and the sweet sounds of his
bansuri (bamboo flute) captivated the hearts of the gopikas (the cowherd
girls), amongst whom he grew up. Among the gopikas, especially, was his
beloved beauteous Radha. Most of the folk songs and folk dances, called
Raas-Lila, in Northern India performed during Holi are recitals of Radha's
and Krishna's love. The separations, the pining and the longing, the
clandestine meetings, the adoration . . .
But the origins of the eroticism lie in the story of Lord Krishna's (the
great lover in Hindu mythology) fabled love for his beloved Radha. Holi is
spread over two weeks in Mathura and Vrindavan, the two ancient cities
Krishna has been associated with. Here, along with the coloured powder and
water, lively processions come out in the streets, folk songs and dances are
performed to the rhythmic beat of dholkis (folk drums), the mirror
embroidered vibrantly coloured long skirts of the women swirling and
swinging in gay abandonment.