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Dahi Handi 2019: The Rituals That Devotees Follow on Krishna Janmashtami

Dahi handi celebrations in Thane.

Dahi handi celebrations in Thane.

Dahi Handi is usually celebrated across Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa and is celebrated on the next day of Krishna Janmashtami.

Krishna Janmashtami, or the birthday celebration of Lord Krishna is celebrated annually on the eighth day of Krishna Paksha (the waning phase of moon) during the month of Bhadrapada in the traditional Hindu calendar. Janmashtami is incomplete without the Dahi Handi, also known as the favourite sport of Lord Krishna.

A famous sportive event, Dahi Handi is usually celebrated across Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa, with a little celebration in other parts of the country and is celebrated on the next day of Krishna Janmashtami.

With dahi translating to curd and Handi translating to earthen pot used to process and keep the milk products, Dahi Handi celebration is also known as Gopalakala in Maharashtra. To play the sport, boys get together to form human pyramids to break an earthen pot which is fixed at a certain height from the ground.

The boy who stands at the top is called Govinda and the groups are either called handis or mandals. However, these days, girls equally participate in the Dahi Handi competition and make human pyramids to break the earthen pots. While the team forms a pyramid to break the earthen pots, neighbourhoods throw water at them to stop them from reaching the top. As the team successfully breaks the pots filled with curds, they are awarded with prizes, usually a certain cash prize.

The festival of Dahi Handi is largely inspired from the childhood tales of Lord Krishna, who was known for his love for dahi and makkhan. Celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm, the festival of Dahi Handi completes the Krishna Janmashtami Mahotsav.

first published:August 24, 2019, 07:15 IST