People across the country are celebrating the auspicious festival of Krishna Janmashtami today (August 19). The day is celebrated with great zeal across India. The preparation for the festival was already in full swing. Devotees keep fast on this day and sing religious folklore and make special food. Moreover, the festival is also followed by the Dahi Handi ritual.
Dahi Handi, also called Gopal Kala or Utlotsavam is an important ritual and the festival of Janmashtami is incomplete without it.
Let's take a look at what is this ritual and what the Handi contains.
History And Significance Of Dahi Handi:
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna loved white butter (makhan), curd, and milk during his childhood days. He along with his friends used to steal it from the neighbours and other villagers. The villagers also started calling him 'Navneet Chor' or 'Makhan Chor' due to the same reason.
The villagers once went to his mother in order to complain about his stealing habits. Angry Yashoda (foster-mother) of Krishna, tied him up to stop him from stealing. She also advised villagers to hide the freshly churned makhan, white butter, in an earthen pot at some height where little Krishna could not reach.
The idea, however, didn't work as Krishna and his friends started making human pyramids in order to reach the handi. They used to break the handi and distribute butter among themselves.
People every year on the occasion of Krishna Janmashtami, organise Dahi Handi to cherish the sweet memories of little Krishna.
How To Celebrate The Day?
Though the day is celebrated with great enthusiasm across the country, the people of Maharashtra and Gujarat observe the ritual of Dahi Handi with great excitement. People hang the earthen pot or handi containing dahi (curd), makhan (butter), ghee, sweets, and nuts at a height of around 30 ft from the ground. A group of boys then make a human pyramid and try to break the handi.
Along with this, many people also organise a Dahi Handi competition, where people in teams contest and the winning team gets many gifts.
Posted By: Anushka Vats