Lathmar Holi 2014
Hindu devotees throw coloured powder at each other as they celebrate Lathmar Holi at the village of Barsana in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 9, 2014. Reuters

Of colours, splash, songs and dance, Holi in India heralds the beginning of spring.

The Hindu festival, also known as the Festival of Colours, does not begin until 17 March this year but the eventful celebrations have already begun in the country as the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh observed Lathmar Holi.

Lathmar Holi, which starts a week before the actual Holi celebrations, was widely celebrated across Barsana and Nandgaon villages in the state on Sunday.

Unique to the two villages, the Lathmar Holi celebrations tradition saw Barsana women beating Nandgaon men with bamboo sticks called lathis, as the village men teased women to seek their attention.

Thousands of Hindu devotees daubed in colours gathered at the Radhe-Krishna temple to celebrate the unique festival that is said to be celebrated since the time of Lord Krishna.

Legend has it that Krishna visited his beloved Radha's village, Barsana, on this day and playfully teased her and her friends called gopis. He was chased away by the village women with sticks.

Since then, men from Krishna's village, Nandgaon, visit Barsana to play Lathmar Holi with women who wait for them with the sticks.

The tradition of puting colours on each other's face also has its origin in Radha and Krishna's playful acts. According to Hindu mythology, the dark-skinned Krishna was so jealous of the fair-skinned Radha that he would sprinkle colours on her trying to change her complexion.

Take a look at the pictures of Lathmar Holi celebrations that has spilled colours in the air.