Shree Krishna Janmashtami marks the legend of breaking of Dahi Handi in Maharashtra and some parts of Goa. Youngsters from all religion cast and creed get together on this day to break this earthen pot filled with butter milk and hanging with lots of cash. Krishna Janmashtami, is observed on the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna as worshiping Lord Krishna is a big ritual in India.
Lord Krishna, an Avatar of Lird Vishnu, was born exactly at the stroke of midnight. Lord Krishna took birth to kill Kansa, the wicked king of Mathura. Though Krishna Janmashtami is being observed on August 18, the Janmashtami tithi (timing) begins on 5.55 pm on August 17 and ends on 6.06am on Monday. No grains should be consumed during Krishna Janmashtami fasting until the fast is broken on next day after Sunrise. Hundreds of thousands of devotees thronged the Krishna in Mathura to celebrate Janmashtami, with the celebrations reaching a crescendo on Sunday. The celebrations are on in the entire Braj area comprising Mathura, Agra and Hathras districts.
The Dahi Handi also known as Govinda (also another name of Krishna) or govinda pathak are used to refer to the people who participate in forming this human pyramid. They practice in groups weeks before the actual event. These groups are called mandals and they go around the local areas, attempting to break as many pots as possible during the event. Pyramid formation needs coordination and focus; the lowest layers consist of the most number of people, preferably sturdy, while the middle layer players need to pay attention to those below as well as the others standing on their shoulders. The outer layer individuals need to focus on maintaining balance. As lighter people are needed higher up, the topmost layer usually has a single boy. Breaking the pot usually ends up with the contents spilling over the participants. Traditionally, spectators threw water on the participants to deter them and people chant in Marathi “Ala re ala, Govinda ala” (govindas have arrived). The pyramid formation is often accompanied by crowds, music and dancing.
The celebration of Dahi Handi is not as big in Goa as its in Mumbai but lately lots of youngsters have started taking active part in this festival as fun and sometimes also to make some extra bucks. Though this pyramid formation is very risky business and not allowed for the children bellow the age of 12 years as per the supreme court guidelines but some places this things are overruled by the groups.
To witness the real Dahi Handi adventure please watch the following videos