Dahi Handi Celebration
The much-enthusiastic celebration of Dahi Handi is done a day after Krishna Janmashtami, or Gokulashtami. On this day, young boys form a human pyramid to break an earthen pot (or handi) that is filled with fresh butter or curd and hung at a slightly difficult-to-reach height. The sport mimics Lord Krishna’s childhood acts of stealing maakhan. The day is celebrated more popularly in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
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Dahi Handi dates
The festival of Dahi Handi is celebrated a day after Lord Krishna’s birthday celebrations (Janmashtami). The sport of Dahi Handi is also known as Gopal Kala, a name taken from a dish made from sweet jaggery, beaten rice and creamy yogurt. On the day of Dahi Handi, earthen pots filled with fresh butter, milk or curd are also offered to Lord Krishna, who was very fond of the same.
Dahi Handi significance
The Dahi Handi festival commemorates Lord Krishna’s cheerful way of life. As a child, Lord Krishna was quite mischievous and extremely fond of having butter and curd. With passing time, his fondness for butter and curd increased and he started stealing it in a fun way, even as women of the community hung it high to keep it safe. However, the high dahi handis weren't safe from Lord Krishna and his friends, who formed human pyramids to reach the pots. This also earned Lord Krishna the name ‘Makhanchor’.
The festival of Dahi Handi celebrates this fun spirit of Lord Krishna.
Dahi Handi celebrations
The Dahi Handi ritual, with time, has become something of a community festival with prizes offered to teams that manage to break the highest-hanging dahi handis in set time. Crowds cheer as youngsters scamper to reach and break the earthen pots. Over its long history, the festival has been recognised as one of the most interesting and widely known native sports of the country. For Dahi Handi, the large earthen pot is usually filled with fruits, honey, butter, curd, and milk. The pot is suspended from a height of approximately twenty to forty feet. Young men and boys form the human pyramids by standing with the support of each other’s shoulders to enable the last individual (called ‘Govinda’) to reach at the top and break the earthen pot.
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