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Lathmar Holi celebrations continue in India

Adnan Abidi / Reuters

Men throw red powder as they celebrate "Lathmar Holi" in Nandgaon, India, March 3. In a Holi tradition unique to Nandgaon and Barsana villages, men sing provocative songs to gain the attention of women, who then "beat" them with bamboo sticks called "lathis". Holi, also known as the Festival of Colours, heralds the beginning of spring and is celebrated all over India.

Kevin Frayer / AP

Indian Hindu men watch during Lathmar Holi at Nandagram Temple, in Nandgaon,India, March 3. According to tradition which has its roots in Hindu mythology men from Barsana arrive at the temple where they are soaked in colored water by men from Nandgaon, believed to be Lord Krishna's village, and then beaten by the women of the village with wooden sticks as they depart the town.

A number of legends surround Holi, and the legend of Radha-Krishna is detailed by holifestival.org:

Young Krishna is known to be very playful and mischievous. The story goes that as a child, Krishna was extremely jealous of Radha's fair complexion since he himself was very dark.

One day, Krishna complained to his mother Yashoda about the injustice of nature which made Radha so fair and he so dark. To pacify the crying young Krishna, the doting mother asked him to go and colour Radha's face in whichever colour he wanted.
In a mischievous mood, naughty Krishna heeded the advice of mother Yashoda and applied colour on her beloved Radha's face; Making her one like himself.

Related content: See more PhotoBlog posts from Holi

Kevin Frayer / AP; Manan Vatzyayana / AFP - Getty Images

Indian Hindu women from Nandgaon village beat the shield of a man from Barsana during Lathmar Holi in Nandgaon, India, March 3.

Kevin Frayer / AP

An Indian Hindu worshipper throws a bucket of colored water on others during Lathmar Holi at Nandagram Temple, in Nandgaon, India, March 3.

Kevin Frayer / AP

Indian Hindu worshippers pray as others throw colored powder and water on them during Lathmar Holi at Nandagram Temple, in Nandgaon, India, March 3.