New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: The festival of Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated across the country today (Tuesday), to mark the birth of Lord Krishna, who was the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu of the Great Trinity of Hinduism. 

One form of celebrating the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna is Dahi Handi, or Utlotsavam — a festive event prominently celebrated in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Group of young boys and men form a human pyramid and attempt to reach and break an earthen pot — filled with Dahi or another milk-based delicacy — handing at a height of 30 ft from the ground. This year, Janmashtami will be observed on August 11 while Dahi Handi programs will be held a day later on August 12. 

HISTORY:

Lord Krishna, who grew up in Vrindavan in the care of his foster parents Nand and Yashodha, was an extremely naughty as a child and used to love Makhan (white butter), milk and curd. He and his friends used to steal Makhan (white butter), milk and curd from their neighbours, following which people started calling Lord Krishna ‘Makhan Chor’ and ‘Navneet Chor’. 

After getting fed up by his habit of stealing Makhan, Maa Yashodha used to tie Lord Krishna and other women started storing their Makhan at a height. However, Krishna and his friends started forming human pyramids to steal Makhan from heights. 

This is the reason why the festive event sees a group of young boys and men forming a human pyramid in an attempt to reach and break the earthen pot handing feet above the ground.

SIGNIFICANCE

The festive event is celebrated with much fervour in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The teams practice for weeks ahead of the event. Pyramid formation needs coordination and focus. The layers in the human pyramid can be as much as nine. The lower layers consist of sturdy people, while the topmost layer usually consists of a sturdy child. The people who participate in the event are referred to as govinda or govinda pathak

Every year, hundreds of teams participate in the Dahi Handi event in Mumbai and Thane. The winning team gets cash rewards. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the festival is celebrated as Utlotsavam.

Posted By: Lakshay Raja