Dahi Handi- A Festival Of Joy
Dahi Handi – An Integral Part Of Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations
Although there are several rituals and traditions associated with the festival of Krishna Janmashtami, the tradition of Dahi-Hnadi forms the highlight of the celebrations. The tradition is followed with great enthusiasm in Mumbai as well as Mathura, Vrindavan and Dwarka, although over the past years, its popularity has spread in other cities and towns as well.
What Is Dahi Handi?
Dahi Handi is essentially an earthen pot filled with a creamy mixture of milk, ghee and dry fruits, placed at a great height from the ground. The tradition required young boys and girls to get to the pot and take the prize of the mixture stored in it. It is basically considered to be an enactment of the method used by Shri Krishna to steal the milk and butter that the gopis used to hide from him by placing it in pots hanging from the ceilings of their home.
How The Tradition Is Performed
The preparations for the tradition begin months in advance, with young boys and girls known as govindas, practicing to get to the treasured pot of Dahi Handi. The pot is hung with the help of ropes that are tied around its neck on one end and the pillars of tall buildings on the other. The govindas take up the challenge of reaching up to the pot by forming a human pyramid underneath it. They have govinda at the top of the pyramid has to break the pot and drink the creamy mixture to complete the challenge. The govindas are continuously sprayed with water from hoses by the people in the surrounding buildings to raise the difficulty level of the challenge.
It is believed that the tradition of Dahi Handi helps in eliminating the negative spirits and bad omens while bringing in happiness and prosperity. In the modern times the tradition has also gained a competitive edge with a cash prize having become a part of the Handi.
By M. Nadir