Dahi Handi Festival

Dahi Handi Festival

The festival of Dahi Handi is celebrated on the day after Janmashtami with great pomp and enthusiasm across the country. This year Dahi Handi will be celebrated on August 20, 2022. The festival of Dahi Handi is dedicated to the child pastimes of Lord Krishna and is celebrated in many parts of the country including Maharashtra and Gujarat.

In the scriptures, the Janmashtami festival is celebrated every year on the occasion of the birth of Lord Krishna, the incarnation of Vishnu. On the next day, the festival of Dahi Handi, dedicated to Bal Lila of Gopal Bhagwan, is celebrated.

According to the belief, Lord Krishna was born at midnight on the Ashtami Tithi of Bhadra month, when  Janmashtami is celebrated, and the festival of Dahi Handi is celebrated on the next day of Janmashtami. On the occasion of Dahi Handi, people climb on top of each other and form a chain-like “Human Pyramid” and reach the Handi tied to the rope and break it. Butter or curd is kept in that Handi.

History of Dahi Handi Festival

Krishna as theif

Lord Krishna was born in the house of Devaki and Vasudev, who remained in jail for years from the tyranny of Kansa. According to mythology, Kansa was to be killed by Devaki and Vasudev’s eighth child. He understood this very well, so he killed all the children of Devaki.

But the eighth child was Shri Krishna who was taken by divine powers to Yashoda and Nandaji at Vrindavan. This is the beginning of Shri Krishna’s Bal Leela. In childhood, Gopal Bhagavan was fond of eating butter and curd, so he would often steal from people’s houses to house in mischief.

Troubled by his mischief, the people of the village used to hang Matki at a great height to save Makhan and Dahi, but even then, Bal Sri Krishna cleverly climbed on top of friends by forming a pyramid to steal Makhan, because of this Krishna is also referred to as Makkan chor (butter thief).

Suggested Read: Krishna Avatar

New Rules regarding the festival of Dahi Handi

The participants in the festival are called Govinda or Govinda Pathak. These people form groups called Mandals who start to practice weeks before the actual event. They have to break the pot hanged at a height by forming a human pyramid.

Traditionally, spectators threw water on the participants to deter them and people chant in Marathi “Ala re ala, Govinda ala” (Govinda’s have arrived). The pyramid formation is accompanied by dance and music. It is the festival where all Govinda is filled with gaiety, but some groups are also victims of accidents by losing balance. Many times, the participant dies, and some are severely hurt in view of all this, the Maharashtra High Court, while hearing a PIL in 2014, has set the maximum limit for hanging Dahi Handi at 20 feet. Also, now the court has given instructions to keep children away from this participation.0

Also Read: How to dress your child as Krishna and Radha

What we learn from the Dahi Handi festival

Dahi Handi tells us how to overcome challenges for goals. The celebration of Dahi Handi is not easy it takes a lot of courage and determination to participate in it. But the happiness after victory along with devotion to Lord Krishna is boundless. The competition tells us that no matter how difficult the goal is, but if you work together toward the goal then success is not far.

Thoughts of Dahi Handi
1. All cannot be on top
2. As you rise so is the risk
3. Ground-level bear the maximum load
4. And the top guy eats the butter!!

Every year there are hundreds of groups participating in this competition of breaking the Handi and receiving the blessing of Lord Krishna.

Suggested Read: Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

Happy Krishna Janmashtami 2024: Wishes, Quotes, Messages, Images, Greetings

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.