Mathura and Vrindavan Holi Schedule and Date (March 2024)

Mathura and Vrindavan Holi Schedule and Date (March 2024)

In India, the colorful festival of Holi signifies the arrival of spring. And the twin holy cities of Mathura and Vrindavan are the best places to experience the entire Holi festival. This is the place where Lord Krishna grew up, so Holi has a particular meaning here. The celebration spans over a week with great enthusiasm & fervor. Read on to uncover everything you need to know to make the most of Holi 2024 in Mathura and Vrindavan.

Let’s Discuss the “Mathura and Vrindavan Holi Schedule and Date” in this article.


The vibrant Hindu festival of Holi holds special significance in the towns of Mathura and Vrindavan – the childhood home of Lord Krishna. While Holi festivities in most of India last just two days i.e. 24th March 2024 (Holika Dahan) and 25th March 2024 (Holi), the celebrations in Mathura and Vrindavan extend for over a week (10 days) to honor the deep connection to Krishna.

From 17-26 March 2024, tourists can experience unique traditions like the famous Lathmar Holi stick fights or Phoolon ki Holi flower showers. Witnessing Holi in these holy towns provides an unforgettable glimpse into living culture and faith. This guide will walk you through the schedule of events and highlights of celebrating Holi 2024 in the land of Krishna.

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The Legendary Origins of Holi

Holi has its origins in legends associated with Lord Krishna & ancient Hindu mythology. One legend describes how as a young boy, Krishna complained to his mother Yashoda about Radha and the gopis throwing colored powder on him. This playful powder play eventually evolved into the modern Holi festival.

Another popular legend is about the demoness Holika, after whom the festival derives its name. Prahlad was a devotee of Lord Vishnu, and his aunt Holika tried to kill him by sitting with him in a blazing fire. But Prahlad emerged unscathed while Holika burnt to ashes. This legend is commemorated on the night before Holi known as Holika Dahan.

Types of Holi in Vrindavan

Vrindavan hosts several distinct versions of Holi celebrations. Some important types of Holi are:

  1. Lathmar Holi – One of the most famous and traditional forms of Holi celebrated in Vrindavan is Lathmar Holi. In this playful and colorful event, women playfully beat men with sticks (lathis), symbolizing the playful teasing of Lord Krishna by Radha and her friends. It takes place in the week before the main day of Holi.
  2. Widow’s Holi – In recent years, Vrindavan has also become known for its unique Widow’s Holi, where widows from around the country gather to break the taboo associated with widows playing Holi. Organized by various NGOs & social organizations, this event aims to bring joy and color into the lives of marginalized widows.
  3. Phoolon ki Holi – Another enchanting aspect of Holi in Vrindavan is Phoolon ki Holi, where flower petals are used instead of colored powders. This serene & aromatic celebration takes place at the famous Banke Bihari Temple, where devotees come together to shower each other with vibrant flower petals.
  4. Rangwali Holi – The main Holi festival day involving colored powders at Nidhi Van temple.

Mathura and Vrindavan Holi Schedule and Date (2024)

Holi Schedule in Mathura – Vrindavan – Barsana – Nandgaon in March 2024

Here is the complete schedule of Holi:-

  1. March 17th, 2024: Laddoo Holi (Sweets Holi) in Barsana
  2. March 18th, 2024: Lathmar Holi (Stick Holi) in Barsana — Very Popular
  3. March 19th, 2024: Lathmar Holi in Nandgaon
  4. March 20th, 2024: Phoolwali Holi (Flower Holi) in Vrindavan and Mathura
  5. March 21st, 2024: Chhadi Mar Holi (‘Wand Beating’ Holi) in Gokul
  6. March 23rd, 2024: Widow Holi in Vrindavan
  7. March 24th, 2024: Holika Dahan (Effigy Burning) in Mathura
  8. March 25th, 2024: Holi (Main Day) in Mathura
  9. March 26th, 2024: Huranga Holi in Baldeo

March 17th, 2024: Laddoo Holi (Sweets Holi) in Barsana

Laddoo Holi (Sweets Holi) in Barsana
Laddoo Holi (Sweets Holi) in Barsana

Laddoo Holi is a joyous festival celebrated annually on March 17th in the village of Barsara, located about 30 miles (50 KM) from Mathura, India. The highlight of Laddoo Holi is the throwing of laddoo sweets at one another. Laddoos are round, sweet Indian treats. At the Radha Rani Temple, also known as Shriji Temple, priests throw laddoos at devotees as a blessing. The temple was built atop the Brahmagiri Hills to honor Radha Rani, who spent her childhood & early adulthood in Barsara. Bright yellow laddoos are favored, as yellow is Lord Krishna’s preferred color (Krishna was Radha’s love).

In addition to the laddoo throwing, Laddoo Holi features lively celebrations like color dances, songs, & color flights. The festivities are filled with happiness & bring the community together. To reach the Radha Rani Temple, you’ll need to climb more than 100 stairs since it is situated on a hilltop vantage point. Laddoo Holi allows the village to celebrate its history and traditions with sweetness and joy.

March 18th, 2024: Lathmar Holi (Stick Holi) in Barsana — Very Popular

Lathmar Holi (Stick Holi) in Barsana — Very Popular
Lathmar Holi (Stick Holi) in Barsana — Very Popular

Lath means ‘stick’ and mar means ‘to beat’.

Lathmar Holi is the most popular Holi event in the Braj region of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is unique to this area.

According to legend, Krishna was poisoned as a child, which turned his skin blue. He fell in love with Radha who lived in Barsana, but was too ashamed of his skin to confess his love. Following his mother Yashoda’s advice, Krishna colored Radha’s skin so she would accept him. At first, Radha and her friends chased Krishna away with sticks.

To honor Krishna and Radha’s love story, Lathmar Holi traditions include playful color throwing and stick chasing. Men from Nandgaon visit Barsara to throw colored powder on women. The women then happily chase the men with sticks. The men use shields on their heads for protection. Some men even dress as women to perform dances.

Lathmar Holi starts around 4:30-5 pm on the streets near the Radha Rani Temple in Barsara. It’s a joyful celebration not to miss! The stick chasing is all in good fun memorializing the legends of Krishna and Radha’s romance.

March 19th, 2024: Lathmar Holi in Nandgaon

On the third day of Holi, the celebrations shift to the town of Nandgaon, located around 40 miles (60 KM) from Mathura.

Similar to Barsara on day 2, the festivities in Nandgaon start around 4:30-5 pm. However, this time it is men from Barsara who visit Nandgaon to throw colored powder on the women.

In a playful act of revenge for the previous day’s stick chasing of their men, the women of Nandgaon then chase the visiting men from Barsara with sticks. The atmosphere is joyful rather than hostile.

To fully experience the color-throwing and stick-chasing events, it’s important to reach Nandgaon before 4 pm on the third day.

The back-and-forth between Barsara and Nandgaon is all in good fun, memorializing the legend of Radha and Krishna’s love story. The celebrations bring the two towns together in a spirit of community.

March 20th, 2024: Phoolwali Holi (Flower Holi) in Vrindavan and Mathura

Phoolwali Holi (Flower Holi) in Vrindavan and Mathura
Phoolwali Holi (Flower Holi) in Vrindavan and Mathura

On the fourth day of Holi, there are two major celebrations – Phoolwali Holi (Flower Holi) in Vrindavan and festivities at Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple in Mathura.

In Vrindavan, Phoolwali Holi (Flower Holi) takes place at the famous Banke Bihari Temple devoted to Lord Krishna. The temple opens around 4 pm and crowds gather early to get in. For about 20-25 minutes, priests throw flowers on devotees as blessings. Enjoy the lively flower throwing along with chanting and dancing.

Mathura, located around 11 km from Banke Bihari Temple, hosts big Holi celebrations at Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple starting at 1 pm. These festivities last into the evening. Highlights include beating with lathis (heavy sticks), flower showers, color throwing, and song/dance performances by locals.

Reaching Vrindavan and Mathura on the fourth day allows you to experience the main Holi events – joyful flower blessings and enthusiastic cultural celebrations honoring Lord Krishna.

March 21st, 2024: Chhadi Mar Holi (‘Wand Beating’ Holi) In Gokul

On the fifth day of Holi, celebrations shift to the town of Gokul, located around 10 miles (15 KM) from Mathura. In Gokul, Krishna is honored as a baby/toddler since he spent his early childhood there. You’ll see idols of young Krishna in jhoola (bench swings).

The main event in Gokul is Chhadi Mar Holi, a more moderate version of Lathmar Holi. Local women use smaller sticks called chhadi to chase after men.

Don’t miss the lively procession starting around 12 pm noon at Gokul Dham Temple. Children dressed as baby Krishna and an idol of Radha are paraded through the streets. The 1.5-hour procession ends at the summit where women playfully hit men with thin sticks.

Attending the procession and celebrations in Gokul on day 5 allows you to experience Holi festivities focused on little Krishna’s childhood in the village.

March 23rd, 2024: Widow Holi in Vrindavan

Vrindavan is the only place in India where widows celebrate Holi. On day 6, festivities for widows are held at Gopinath Temple around noon.

In India, widows are considered unlucky after their husbands die. They are often shunned by family and live in poverty. Many widows go to ashrams (retreat communities) in Varanasi or Vrindavan, also called the “city of widows” with over 6,000 living there.

Widows can only wear white saris and cannot celebrate festivals. But in 2013, the organization Sulabh International started Holi events in Vrindavan for widows to improve their lives.

On this special day of Holi, widows can wear colorful clothes. They gather at Gopinath Temple to joyfully throw colored powder and flowers, dance, sing, and play Lord Krishna devotional songs. This uplifting celebration is a highlight for widows, allowing them to temporarily escape their challenging realities.

March 24th, 2024: Holika Dahan (Effigy Burning) in Mathura

Holika Dahan (Effigy Burning) in Mathura
Holika Dahan (Effigy Burning) in Mathura

The national Holika Dahan ritual representing good over evil takes place at night at the Holi Gate in Mathura. A large bonfire burns an effigy of the demoness Holika.

During the daytime, there are two big celebrations to attend in the region.

The first is at Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan from 9 am-1:30 pm. Priests throw colored powder and water on devotees. Enjoy dancing, singing, color fights, and water play along with the crowds.

The second event is a grand procession starting at 3 pm at Vishram Ghat in Mathura. It parades to the Holi Gate until sunset. Young people dressed as Krishna and Radha throw colors at each other. Join the lively parade for the full local Holi experience.

Attending the daytime temple celebration and procession in Mathura/Vrindavan allows you to take part in the climactic festivities of the week-long Holi holiday.

March 25th, 2024: Holi (Main Day) in Mathura

Holi (Main Day) in Mathura
Holi (Main Day) in Mathura

The climax of the week-long Holi festivities takes place on day 8 in the main town area of Mathura, especially at Holi Gate and nearby. Don’t miss the celebrations at Dwarkadhish Temple, located about 1 km from Holi Gate.

The temple starts accepting visitors around 10 am, so arrive early to get in. If you come early enough, you may see priests preparing bhang (a traditional cannabis drink) and processions at Yamuna Ghat.

The lively color throwing starts around 10 am at the temple. Enjoy dancing, singing, and revelry with the crowds. It’s less crowded than Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan but still offers joyful Holi fun.

Spending the final day of Holi in central Mathura allows you to fully immerse yourself in the climax of the colorful spring festival. It’s the best place to experience the excitement and traditions of Holi.

March 26th, 2024: Huranga Holi in Baldeo

Huranga Holi in Baldeo
Huranga Holi in Baldeo

Baldeo is a village about 20 miles (30 KM) from Mathura where Krishna’s elder brother ruled. On the day after the main Holi, people in Baldeo celebrate Holi’s end at Dauji Temple.

The festivities at the temple last around 3.5 hours from 12:30 pm to 4 pm. Here, men are chased and beaten with lathis (bamboo batons wrapped in iron) and also stripped, going further than other villages.

Baldeo has a large holy talab (pond) where devotees bathe to contemplate life and renewal. To conclude Holi 2024, locals sing, dance, and bathe in the colorful pond.

Attending the final day allows you to experience how people in Baldeo joyfully celebrate the close of Holi. The festivities & rituals provide a meaningful bookend to the week-long spring festival.

How To Reach Mathura?

How To Reach Mathura?
How To Reach Mathura?

By Air:

  • The nearest airport is Agra Airport, which is around 58km away from Mathura. From there you can take a taxi or bus to reach Mathura.
  • Website For Booking:

By Road:

  • Mathura is well connected to other major cities like Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur by road. There are regular bus services from these cities to Mathura. The drive from Delhi to Mathura takes around 3.5 hours.
  • Website For Booking:

By Train:

  • Mathura Junction is the main railway station in Mathura, with regular train connections to Delhi, Agra, Mumbai, Chennai, Trivandrum, Hyderabad, Bangalore and other major cities.
  • Some major trains stopping at Mathura Junction are Mangla Express, Kerala Express, and Tamil Nadu Express.
  • The station is located right in the heart of the city, making it very convenient to reach the main temples and attractions from there.
  • Website For Booking:

So in summary, the most convenient options to reach Mathura are by road from nearby cities like Delhi and Agra or by train via Mathura Junction station. The nearest airport is Agra, from where you can continue by road.

Significance and Traditions

Holi carries religious significance in Mathura and Vrindavan as the places where Krishna grew up. Locals commemorate Holi’s connection to Krishna and Radha through exuberant social customs. The exchange of colored powders represents the eternal love between Krishna and Radha.

Travel Guide

To fully experience Holi here, stay in temples or guesthouses and arrive early to observe rituals and festivities. Join in Lathmar Holi celebrations but treat women with respect. Wear old clothes and avoid carrying valuables while out during festival days.

In-depth Information

The streets become artworks during Holi as locals create stunning murals and decorations using colored powder. At night, devotees sing and dance around bonfires. Special sweets like gujiya are prepared months in advance. Witnessing the fanfare surrounding the birthplace of Krishna makes Holi uniquely memorable here.


Ultimately, Holi is about letting go and finding joy with loved ones. Dance to the beat of drums as showers of gulal color the air. Sing Holi songs and feast on gujiyas and mathri. Experience the unique traditions of Vrindavan like Lathmar Holi. Witness the spectacle of pyres burning away evil on Holika Dahan. Get drenched in raw energy and return with a renewed spirit.

As you celebrate good over evil, let the colors wash away your worries too! Surrender to the mystic, magical mayhem of Holi 2024 in Mathura and Vrindavan.

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