Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The thriller of Dahi Handi (Human Tower) Festival

Human tower

Dahi-handi (Human Tower) is one of the most popular festival in india especially in Mumbai, it is popularly known in konkan region as Janmaashtami or Gokulashtami, In this festival the Handi is a clay pot filled with buttermilk and it is hung at a convenient height prior to the event. Sometimes the prize money is added to the pot instead of buttermilk. The topmost person on the human pyramid tries to break the handi by hitting it with a nariyal (coconut) because, nariyal (coconut) is preferred being a sign of purity. In Hinduism, When the buttermilk is spilled over the entire group, that symbolizing their achievement through unity. Handis are set up in many part of the Mumbai and thane city, many groups of youngsters, called Govinda Pathaks, travel around in trucks and buses for trying to break as many handis as possible during the day.
        Dahi Handi (dahi = curd & handi = earthen pot) is an Indian festival celebrated every year in August, Dahi handi event is based on the story of the god Krishna stealing butter. The participant members in this dahi-handi festival is called as a govinda or govinda pathak. It is most popular festival in theMaharashtra. It is a part of the main festival Gokulashtami, which is also known as Krishna Janmashtami or it celebrated as a birth day of Krishna in the rest of the country at this day.
        The god Krishna in their childhood period used human pyramids to break pots hung from the ceilings of neighbourhood houses, for stealing curdmilk or butter. In Vrindavan village in Uttar Pradesh, India, where Krishna was brought up. He used that stealed curd to distribute among with his friends because during King Kaunsa's (krishna's maternal uncle) rule, their parents was forced to give everything produced in their house to Kaunsa's home in Mathura. Because of that the children of Vrindavan village was thus deprived of milk products.
          In Dahi handi festival, participants make a pyramid consisting usually below 9 tiers and are given three attempts to break the earthen pot. In 2012, Jai Jawan Govinda Pathak from Jogeshwari, Mumbai break the Guinness World Record by forming a human pyramid of 9 tiers 43.79 feet at the Dahi Handi event in Thane, the previous record was held by Spain in 1981. Every year thousands of people and hundreds of govinda groups gather at Mumbai and Thane's Dahi Handi events. The prize money for the events usually range from 50,000 (US$750) To 10 lakh (US$17,000) depending on the organizers and sponsors of the event. The prizes and height of the event increasing every year due to the participation of many Bollywood actors, Marathi actors, singers and political parties take in this event. In this festival some mandals give some social messages like keep your city clean & green, save the tiger or about the pollution. Many political parties make arrangement their dahi handis in many parts of the city. In some years, Castellers group from Spain also participate in this competition for making tallest human tower.
         All over India, this festival is celebrated with lot's of energy. Mumbai city is the best place to enjoy this festive celebrations. You can visit the beautiful and magnificent ISKCON temple located on the beachside of Juhu and experience bliss during this time. Mathura in India is also the best place to enjoy the celebrations as this is the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Some cities in the northern side of India is a symbol of harmony with its bright decorations and displays of scenes from the life of Lord Krishna. Traveling in Vrindavan, Mathura and Mumbai which would surely make your Dahi Handi experience is memorable.

How Dahi Handi is celebrated?

Dahi Handi is held on the second day of Gokulashtami celebrations. The first day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna and the second day replicates the love of Krishna for milk, curd and butter. Clay pots with curd, butter, and money are hung high up on the top and participants make human pyramids and compete to break the pot. This trend is started that time when Lord Krishna as a child. They make such pyramids and break open pots of butter hung up in all the houses. Thus, this festival is a way of reliving the pranks played by Lord Krishna.
         From the past few years Government, not allow children below 12 years to participate in the human pyramids, Participation of small children was the base of these celebrations as their low weight was help to reach the top of the human pyramid. With the safe practices and social settings, Dahi Handi is surely necessary see for all and a time to celebrate and enjoy the thriller. The best part of this Dahi Handi festival is that while participants (govinda) forming the human pyramid, they dismantles many time. But no one gives up and keeps trying.

Dahi Handi celebration signifies the importance of team work. 

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