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.