Dahi handi is celebrated on the second day of “gopal krushna jayanti” also known as “krushna janmashti”. Dahi handi means vessel filled with curd. In this festival, men and women form a human pyramid of several layers to break the Handi hung at a particular height and tied with the rope.
Krishna janmashtami is celebrated all over India to celebrate the birth of lord krishna. Whereas dahi handi is celebrated to depict the love of lord Krishna for dahi ( his favorite dish). Lord Krishna was born on the 8th day of the Krishna paksha of Bhadrapad month of the Indian callender. Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudev who was held captive by evil king Kans. Vasudev somehow managed to take bal krishna out of the prison and reached to mother Yashodha in gokul. Yashodha and Nand then raised Krishna as their own child.
Krishna was very mischievous kid. He used to love curd and butter and often use to steal it from Gopis with the help of his friends. Gopis used to complain to Yashoda maata about bal krishna’s doings, krishna often used to get scolded and punished. But bal krishna was never truly affected by the punishments and he continued stealing curd and butter even after several complaints. He along with his friends used to make human pyramid to reach the dahi handi and sometimes even break the vessel. Krishna was therefore known as “makhan chor”.
Dahi Handi is inspired by these mischievous stories of lord Krishna’s childhood. Young boys participating in the festival are called Govinda (the other name of lord Krishna). The govindas form the human pyramid and break the dahi handi tied at a certain height. Lately girls are also participating in the dahi handi competition in some parts of the country.
This year Krishna janmashtami is celebrated on 24th August and dahi is celebrated on the 25th august. This festival is very famous in the states of Maharashtra, Gujrat and Goa. Several groups participate every year in the dahi handi competition held in Mumbai and other main cities. The winning groups are awarded with prizes from lakhs to even crores.
There are various competitive groups that take part in dahi handi competition. age groups varies from small kids (kanhas) to aged enthusiastic people.various competitions are held from school level to competitive levels.
group from Jogeshwari, Jai Jawan Govinda Pathak, had broken a 21-year-old world record of a Spanish group in 2012 by successfully forming nine layered pyramid at a Dahi Handi event in Thane. While the Spanish group had a record of 39.27 feet, Jai Jawan had scaled a height of 43.79 feet. The government is now monitoring the height of dahi handi because of some unfortunate incidents occurred over the past few years.
Bollywood and Bollywood stars are are also highly indulged in the dahi handi festival.
Bollywood has glamorously pictured many Bollywood songs on dahi handi. Most of these songs and remixes are widely played out during the dahi handi activities,