Come August and the festivities begin. With the month of Shravan bringing in freshness, celebrations and a joyous ambiance, the entire society gears up for the various festivals during this time. Dahi Handi is one such festival, which is eagerly awaited by all and is celebrated with lot of gusto and enthusiasm. This day commemorates the birth of Lord Krishna who is the eight incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Also called as Govinda in Maharashtra, or Gokulashtami in many other parts of the country this is a day when Lord Krishna is revered and worshipped.
This year in 2014, the celebrations would be held for two days on August 17 and 18. Usually the festival date is decided as per the cycle of the moon.
Across India, the festival is celebrated with lot of colour and pomp. Mumbai city is the best place to enjoy the celebrations. Visit the lovely and magnificent ISKCON temple lying on the tranquil beachside of Juhu and experience bliss during this time. Mathura in India is a synonym for such celebrations as this is the birthplace of Lord Krishna. This city in the northern part of India is a symbol of peace and harmony with its bright decorations and innumerable displays of scenes from the life of Lord Krishna. There are walking tours in Jaipur and many such programmes in places like Vrindavan and Mathura, which would surely make your Dahi Handi experience a memorable one.
How is Dahi Handi celebrated?
Dahi Handi is usually held on the second day of Gokulashtami celebrations, and is very popular in Mumbai. Clay pots with curd, butter, and money are hung high up on the top and professionals make human pyramids and compete to break the pot. This is a trend that goes back to the time when Lord Krishna as a child used to make such pyramids and break open pots of butter hung up in all the houses. Thus, this festival is a way of reliving the mischief and pranks played by Lord Krishna.
What Does One Do On Janmashtami?
Usually Janmashtami is observed by fasting and devotees pray at midnight offering their respects to Lord Krishna. It is believed that Lord Krishna was born at midnight, he is worshipped at this time. Temples have baby cradles with a small statue of the Lord in them. People chant the name of the Lord and worship him all night. It is a lovely sight to see little boys and girls dressed up as Lord Krishna and Radha.
Dahi Handi Celebrations Today in Mumbai
With the Government, disallowing children below 12 from participating in the human pyramids, this year the Dahi handi celebrations would see a different approach to the system. Participation of small children was the forte of these celebrations as their light weight was a help to reach the top of the human pyramid. With the best of safe practices adopted and ideal social settings, Dahi Handi is surely necessary see for all and a time to rejoice, celebrate, and enjoy. Experience the feeling of being closer to Lord Krishna and celebrate Dahi Handi with peace and happiness this year. Dahi Handi is a festival that is celebrated across India and is also known by other names like Janmashtami and Gokulashtami.