Ever heard of ‘Jutamaar Holi’? Welcome to Bachgaon

The ‘Jutamaar’ Holi of Bachgaon is a bizarre tradition that has been in vogue for nearly 150 years now.

Bachgaon, 2022-03-21 (Vrindavan Today News): The mischief of Barsana-Nandgaon’s Lathmaar and Laddu Holis, the tenderness of Gokul’s Chadimaar Holi, the fragrant phool Holis of Vrindavan and Mathura, to the firewalking and whiplashing adventures of Falen and Dauji’s Huranga, if you think you’ve seen it all, welcome to Bachgaon where Holi is played with shoes and slippers!

The ‘Jutamaar’ Holi of Bachgaon is a bizarre tradition that has been in vogue for nearly 150 years now. After smearing each other with colours on the day of Dhulendi, people convey their Holi greetings with a pat on the head with a shoe or slipper. Received from an elder, it is considered a blessing of sorts. Rasiya and other folk songs, mostly sung by the village seniors in the evening, complete the celebration.

There are many accounts of the origin of this unusual Holi. According to resident Mukesh, there is a temple of Baba Brajdas on the outskirts of the village where he used to live. He is believed to have fulfilled the wishes of two villagers Kirodi and Birjilal by placing his ‘khadau’ (wooden slippers) on their heads. His miraculous feat became entrenched as a custom after the incident.

Another senior resident and doctor Rajveer Singh says that ‘Jutamaar Holi’ has its roots in the folklore as per which Baldau humorously patted his younger brother Krishna with his slipper while playing Holi. These accounts have no grounding in the texts though. According to village head Radheshyam Singh the origins of ‘Jutamaar Holi’ remain elusive.

Commenting on the many quirks of Braj Holi, activist Raghav Mittal says, “From Lathmaar to Jutamaar, the infinitum of Holi traditions of Braj Bhoomi is simply superb. Pulverising the egos across is important to enter into a state of harmonious bliss with each other.”

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