Skip to main content

Dahi Handi: The feast of Janmashtami


India is a country of great contrasts and popular devotions. Janmashtami, popularly known in Mumbai and Pune as Dahi Handi is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm. The festival celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, the word Dahi means curd, and Handi, is pot, these words refer to the pot of cottage cheese, which is claimed as a prize in this special ceremony.


The act is from childhood antics of Lord Krishna, who had a special affinity for milk and butter. Food is hanged in the rafters of houses to keep them out of reach of children and animals. Krishna, along with his friends formed human pyramids to steal milk and butter from the houses of the village.

The ceremony consists of a pot full of milk, cottage cheese, butter, honey and fruits. Suspended on a rope at a height of about 12 meters, a group of young men and children form a human pyramid, climbing over each other's shoulders, to be able to break the Handi. Beside the Handi, it is usually placed some money as a reward.

Several of these are established locally in various parts of the city, and youth groups, called Govinda, make trips in trucks, trying to break as many handis as possible during the day. In recent times, the event has acquired a political flavor, and it is not uncommon for political parties, wealthy and community groups, offer attractive prizes accompanying this amazing festival of Dahi Handi in Maharashtra.

Every year on the occasion of Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, hundreds of teams participate in human pyramid competitions across Mumbai and Maharashtra. The goal is to form a human pyramid high enough to go break a pot containing milk, yogurt, butter, fruit and water, hung in the air.

The tradition of dahi handi is taken from an episode of the Mahabharata, one of the two great epics of Hindu mythology with the Ramayana. According to legend, Krishna used to steal pots of yogurt and butter. The Dahi Handi, now is something of a national sport and is the most popular game.

The game is to form a human pyramid to enable the youngest team to reach an earthenware container containing butter or curd, suspended from air at a predetermined height. The young athlete is instructed to reach the top of the pyramid, who must break the pot with the help of a stick or any blunt object and making sure that the liquid spills on the entire team in order to consecrate the union in the enterprise.

Many young and old, men and women fast since morning, who will remain awake past midnight, the time when they gather to recite devotional songs addressed to the supreme and divine Lord.
A mischievous child, fond of butter and curds and therefore accustomed to steal them, he spent his childhood in the countryside of Vrindavan.

During the day of his birthday the entire India and particularly the inhabitants of the Mathura region and the state of Maharashtra, gather to celebrate the birth, organizing dances (rasa lila) from his frivolous teenage years, remembering the joyful side of his childhood.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Egg Curry Recipe

Egg curry in India is known as Anda Curry that is a very simple recipe and is very popular with children. Perfect for lovers of hardboiled eggs, the spicy curry enhances the flavor. In this dish, the hard-boiled eggs are stir fried and then added to a sauce. It is served over steamed rice in India. Eggs can be added to any type of sauce you like. In this instructable I have shown how to make it with peas and tomato sauce.

This week I propose a curry eggs, a dish I wanted to replicate for some time after I had tasted the homemade version prepared by a friend. When I announced that dinner was planned with a curry of eggs it unexpectedly cause generalized reactions of astonishment. And so I realized that it has taken for granted that everyone to know that there are several varieties of curry, not only as regards the main ingredient, but also for the combination of spices and flavor to be obtained. So I decided to make a brief discussion on the curry to have some clarity on the subject.

An Italian Meal with my friend at Da Mauro

As I walked down the street, distracted by my thoughts and my memories, the smell from a nearby pizza shop invaded my senses and immediately my mind was transported to a recent visit to an expat friend's house. My friend, John lives in Central Park Resorts at the heart of Gurgaon. I'm not a huge fan of Gurgaon given the dusty roads, pollution, bad traffic and civic sense, but Central Park Resorts is another world in itself - an ample green environment with the usual facilities like amphitheatre, gym, spa, kids play area etc. But two things really caught my eye - the town-ship is automobile free and golf buggies are used to commute on surface. That sounds downright futuristic and something only the millionaires could afford, right? But there it was, right in front of my eyes in Gurgaon! Well, the future is really here I guess.

But what really got to me is the second thing - something situated inside the Central Park Resorts township. Read on:

As John and I planned to discuss t…

Oshun: the African Goddess of Love

Òsun, pronounced as Oshun is a major orisha as part of the Yoruba mythology and the patron of Cuba and also adored in the Afro-American cults. Oshún is the divinity of the river that runs in Nigeria. Òsun was the daughter of Nana Buruku, wife of Òrúnmílá (Orunla), Ògún, Òsoosi, and Aggayu, who was her real husband. Oshun was also the concubine of Shango. It is said that she lost her virginity to save her sister Oya.Òsun had children with Oduduwa, Orunmila and Inle. With Oduduwa she had Olose (girl) with Orunmila had Paroye (girl) and with Inle had Ologun Ede (androgynous). Òsun is the one who takes care of the Ojubo, throne or place of worship of Oduduwa and Yewa. Òsun was called Iyalode, a title conferred to the one who occupies the most important place among all the women of the city.The love of Òsun for the bronze, the most precious metal of the country Yorùbá in the old times, is mentioned in the greetings that are directed to her. In Cuba and Brazil, Òsun's followers wear yel…