Mela Barsana (Barsana Mela) is celebrated during Radhashtami, the appearance day of Radharani. In 2017, Mela Barsana dates are – August 28 & August 29.
Sakhi Lalita’s birthday marks the beginning of Radhastami festivities in the Barsana area, thus the Mela Barsana.
Uncha Gaon, a village near Barsana, is the birthplace of Lalita, Radharani’s best friend. Lalita took birth in Uncha Gaon just a day before Radharani Appearance day. At this place, Radhashtami celebrations begins with Lalita Jayanti Utsav (September 8, 2016).
In the midst of the kirtan of “Radhe Radhe”, Lalita’s murti is bathed in Panchamrit and other ingredients. After the abhishek, the three murtis of Radha, Krishna and Lalitaji are dressed in dazzling clothes. They were then placed on the altar, which was elaborately decorated with flowers as a phul bangala.
Many faithful devotees are gathered there from near and far to watch the ceremony and afterwards relish the panchamrita prasad.
Of the eight sakhis, Lalita-devi is the foremost. She is a very dear friend of Radha-Krsna and she is 27 years older than Srimati Radharani. Her mother is Saradi-devi and her father is Visoka. Her husband is Bhairava who is a close friend of Govardhana-gopa (husband of Candravali).
On Radhashtami day, festivities are celebrated at Barsana.