Barsana, 2018.02.16 (VT) Women in Barsana are undergoing training to increase their strength so that they will be able to play Lathmar Holi for up to 4 hours. Women are eating almonds in the morning and drinking milk at night, with the hope of increasing their strength so that they can lift the heavy sticks continuously.
Sheila Shrotri said that nobody can say where the strength comes from to play Lathmar Holi for four hours; it must be a gift from Radha Rani. Sheila said that she feels very grateful to live in Barsana with her in-laws.
Jamuna Devi helps to train young women in how to swing the lath and hit the shields. New sticks (laths) are being made and oiled. Now that the Shivaratri festival has passed, the entire town is focused on preparing for Holi.
The UP Government has begun preparing the security arrangements for CM Yogi Adityanath‘s visit to Barsana to play Lathmar Holi. The security restrictions include the demand that residents submit copies of the identity cards of any guests. Most are accepting the restrictions with a spirit of tolerance, however, some have become frustrated and sent complaints to CM Yogi. Hapur’s Pankaj Malik tweeted the CM saying that it is not right to stop Barsana’s ashrams from holding traditional bhajan and katha programs.