Women beat their men with sticks in a unique annual Hindu tradition in northern India. The welcoming of spring, known as Lathmar Holi or, more appropriately, the festival of colors, involves songs and colors — bright ones.
Celebrated in Nandgaon and Barsana in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Hindu devotees end up covered in bright colored powder as the changing season is marked in a boldly Indian way.
The festival mimics the legend of Lord Krishna’s visit to the area, where he allegedly teased and flirted with Radha. Men, in the tradition, sing provocative songs and are chased away and beaten with sticks, known as lathi, by the village’s women. The men use shields to protect themselves from the “attacks,” which generally end in dancing and merriment — and lots of beautifully colored powders.
The tradition originates in northern India but is celebrated all over the country each year.