Rasiya is another famous folk genre of Uttar Pradesh. Though Rasiya has slowly gained popularity all over the world due to organizations like ISKCON, its origin is basically confined to the Braj region of Uttar Pradesh. Braj region basically comprises towns like Mathura, Nandgaon, Barsane, Vrindavan and Govardhan. Braj is the land of Lord Krishna and his consort Radha.
A remarkable feature of Braj region is its Holi celebration that is
very unique in itself. Rasiya is the form of folk music that is mostly
sung in this region on Holi. The themes of Rasiya songs are the conjugal
love of Krishna with his consort Radha and other milkmaids of his
village. Nevertheless the lyrics don't have sexual overtones as in the
case of Chaiti and Kajari.
An interesting event is the Rasiya competition. It is held between men
dressed in pink and yellow turbans representing Radha-kund and
Krishna-kund respectively. The Lathmar or 'Stick Beating' Holi of Braj
is very famous for its numerous Rasiya. In this, after a musical
question answer session, young men begin singing Rasiya and as soon as
they reach the street they are showered with blows from women armed with
sticks. The men try to defend themselves till sunset when one young man
is caught by the women and made to pray to the well signifying the end
of this part of Holi.