Barsana, 26.12.17 (VT) As the winter season sets in, those whose hearts reside in Braj have stated dreaming about the next festival season – Holi. Braj’s Holi festival will be bigger than ever this year, with CM Yogi Adityanath set to visit Barsana on 24th Feb, to participate in lathmar Holi.
The CM finalized his tour plans in a meeting with MP Hema Malini; Minister for Religious Works and Culture, Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary; principal secretary and director general of the Department of Tourism, Awanish Awasthi. The deputy director of the Tourism Department, Dinesh Kumar said that the CM will first address a public meeting at the Radha Bihari Inter College, after which he will visit the Mata Ji gaushala (cowshed) that shelters more than 50,000 cows.
More than one lakh laddoos and colour will be distributed among the pilgrims, and the temple and office buildings will be illuminated with decorative light. Not only that, flowers also will be showered from a helicopter which will also carry swaroops of Krishna and Radha Rani.
The visit is part of the Yogi Government’s program of promoting the State’s important places of pilgrimage. The CM celebrated Diwali in Ayodya by lighting almost 200,000 lamps on the banks of the Saryu river.
The Yogi Government’s strategy to promote tourism is to promote each area for its specialty and lathmar holi is a specialty of Radha Rani temple in Barsana. Little known outside of Braj, this festival commemorates the women of Barsana chasing away Sri Krishna for taunting Radha.
Legend has it that Lord Krishna visited his beloved Radha’s village on this day and playfully teased her and her friends. Taking offence at this, the women of Barsana chased him away. Since then, the men from Nandgaon visit the town of Barsana every year, only to be greeted by women holding lath (sticks). The ladies hurl sticks at the men, who try to shield themselves as much as they can.
The festival also has metaphorical significance, showing women as the upholders of morality. The atmosphere becomes joyous as both men and women participate in the singing of traditional Holi bhajans and everyone remembers the pastimes of Radha-Krishna.
Yogi is set to arrive by helicopter at the beginning of the festival. There has been no word about when the (much talked about) helicopter service connecting pilgrimage places will begin, however, the Government has publicized plans to expand 10 airstrips around the state and create a second international airport in Greater Noida, which will connect with the Yamuna Expressway and cut down travel time from the airport to Vrindavan by up to 2 hours.
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