Happy Holi 2017: Celebration in Mathura and Vrindavan is popular.
Holi, the Festival of Colours has been celebrated in India since thousands of years. This year it will be celebrated on Monday, March 13, 2017 all over the world with Holika Dahan preceding the festival on the night of 12th March.
While Holi is celebrated in almost every part of India, Holi in Braj is especially famous. Braj is a historical region which covers the area of Mathura, Vrindavan and some nearby areas. Holi here attracts tourists and pilgrims from all over the world because of it's special customs and traditions. Mathura is the birth-place of Lord Krishna and Vrindavan is the place where he grew up in his childhood.
When Krishna was young, he cribbed to his mother about Radha being fair while Krishna himself was dark complexioned. His mother, Yashoda suggested him to colour Radha with colors in a playful manner. Over the years, Krishna from his village Nandgaon used to go to Barsana (Radha's village) to color Radha and other Gopis. They also used to playfully beat him with sticks. And hence the tradition evolved.
Barsana Holi celebrations start about a week before the actual date of Holi. Barsana is a village near Mathura and it was the village of Radha. It is famous for its lathmar Holi in which women beat men (playfully) with sticks. Barsana is the place where Radha used to live and Krishna used to visit this place to put color on Radha.
The Banke Bihari temple at Vrindavan celebrates Phoolon wali Holi on the ekadashi before Holi. As the name suggests, this Holi is celebrated with flowers unlike the traditional colours. The temple gates are opened around 4 pm and the priests throw flowers at the devotees. Ekadashi before Holi falls on 8th March this year.