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Dahi Handi to be a part of adventure sports in Maharashtra: Know history, significance of this festival…

Dahi Handi: EBNW Story brings out history and significance of this festival which has now been announced as adventure sports in Maharashtra.

On the eve of Janmashtami, as Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced that Dahi Handi will be recognised as an adventure sport under the sports category in his state, Mitali Mishra brings to forth the history of this festival to signify how and why Dahi Handi ritual is celebrated on Janmashtami. 

Dahi Handi is a very popular festival organised in the cities of Maharashtra, etc on Krishna Janmashtami which is also called as Gokulashtami. 

Handi stands for eastern pots which is used for keeping milk products like butter(makhan), curd(dahi), etc.

Krishna, while growing up with fondness of curd and the makhan, started taking it out secretly from her mother’s vessel. When Krishna and his team started eyeing homes to quench their thirst for makhan, female folks in the entire neighbourhood became cautious and started hanging handi from the ceiling like a chandelier. The idea was to take advantage of short height of young Krishna and His team and keep Dahi Handis out of reach of small hands.

To defeat the idea of female cowherds, Krishna came up with the idea of forming human pyramid. Human pyramid was used as the ladder to climb up and reach the Handi. Since then it has become part of Indian folklore. Every year during Janmashtami, this event from the life of Lord Krishna is played by the young troop of boys.

Besides a normal celebration, a Dahi Handi competition is also organised, where multiple teams participate and compete with one another to win the competition. To make the task challenging, Handi is kept at several floors high at the open ground or at the street crossing. Dahi Handi could be up to several floors high in the sky. Women folks who represent female cowherds from the tale of Lord Krishna prevent any attempts to create human pyramid by throwing the water on the pyramid formation.

Meanwhile, as per Maharashtra CM, the adventure sport tag for Dahi Handi will allow Govindas to apply for government jobs under the sports quota.

The ‘Govindas’ will get jobs under the sports category. We will provide insurance cover of Rs 10 lakhs for all ‘Govindas’.”

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