Dahi Handi- A Festival Of Enthusiasm And Teamwork

The Hindu festival of Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated with much pomp around the country. It marks the birth of Lord Krishna, believed to be the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

However, among the many rituals, the Dahi Handi festival, also called Gopalakala or Utlotsavam, holds great significance and is celebrated with much fanfare every year.

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna was fond of curd and butter in his childhood. As he grew up, his fondness for curd and butter increased, and he would find mischievous ways to steal it from neighbours and villagers. When Yashoda maa found out about the makhan chor’s deeds, she asked villagers to hide the freshly churned butter and dahi in earthen pots and tie them high up in the air. She also tied Lord Krishna to prevent him from stealing more butter and curd. However, Lord Krishna’s friends created a human pyramid to help him reach the earthen pots to steal the butter.

Dahi Handi

Translated literally, Dahi means curd, and Handi is an earthen pot used to process and store milk products. The celebration of Dahi Handi is a sweet reminder of the endearing and notorious ways of makhan chor Lord Krishna. The Dahi Handi festival is popularly celebrated in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Each year, Dahi Handi celebrations witness large gatherings of people re-enacting his stories and feasting. Additionally, a Handi containing dahi (curd), makhan (butter), ghee, sweets and nuts is suspended at a height of 30 ft. Then, groups of people called mandals compete against each other to form a human pyramid and break the Handi. The person on top of the human pyramid is referred to as Govinda. Whoever breaks the Handi first gets a prize. The celebrations are worth watching every year.

Dahi Handi is all about teamwork, coordination, focus and strength. Each pyramid can have nine layers and the lowest one consists of strong people who can bear the weight of the others on their shoulders.

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