Lathmar Diwari: Lathmar Diwali in Uttar Pradesh

Diwali is celebrated in Uttar Pradesh with unique rituals. The Lathmar Diwari features cane fights as part of tradition and is celebrated in several villages like Triveni, Amratpur Kherwa, Ghacha and Barokha Khurd in Banda which is about 200 km from Lucknow.

During Lathmar Diwari, the young men assemble in the fields armed with canes and constitute different teams. Two teams each comprising of 18 members play the Lathmar Diwari and these entertaining fights go on till evening. Its an action packed game that follows a set of rules and regulations, like the canes used by the two opponent teams should be more or less of the same size and thickness.

The teams involved in Lathmar Diwari undergo several months of training. The most important rule while playing is that you cannot be violent and have to attack and shield yourself in a prescribed manner. Not following the rule can lead to disqualification.However the emphasis is on entertaining the villagers and not on winning the game.

The team members come from varied age groups from 10 year old kids to 50 year olds. The only condition being that the individual should be a male and physically fit. Incidentally, Uttar Pradesh also celebrates Lathmar Holi on the festival of colours when women playfully hit men with canes.

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