Dahi Handi and Krishna Janmashtami known as Gokulashatami Festival Celebration in Mumbai

About Janmashtami(Gokulashtami)

Janmashtami festival in India which commemorates Lord Krishna's birth, has several interesting aspects to its celebration. The festival of Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated throughout the Country marking the birth of Govinda.Lord Krishna is considered as a newborn and people love him, pamper him, and show respect for him on this day.Janmashtami is celebrated to welcome and enjoy Lord Krishna’s birth. The birth of Lord Krishna took place when the various planets were in auspicious places. It is said that God chooses a particular time, as to when he will take birth as a human and the planetary systems are adjusted accordingly.

On the day of Janmashtami, people perform special Poojas, keep fast, sing Bhajans, and dance to celebrate the birth of Krishna.The temples in these places are decorated and special Jhankis (tableaus) are organized. Lord Krishna is pampered as a newborn. People offer sweets and Jhulas (swing) to the newborn Krishna.Temples are decorated for the occasion, Kirtans are sung, bells are rung, the conch is blown, and Sanskrit hymns are recited in praise of Lord Krishna. At Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, special spiritual gatherings are organized at this time. Pilgrims from all over India attend these festive gatherings.

Dahi Handi Festival Celebration in Mumbai

Dahi Handi is usually held on the second day of Gokulashtami celebrations, and is very popular in Mumbai. “Govinda Ala Re Ala”, the birth of Lord Krishna is carried out in the various parts of Mumbai.The celebration of Dahi Handi festival depicts the love of Govinda toward butter, milk, Dahi (curd), and sweets. Various “Dahi Handi” events are organized in Mumbai where young boys make a Toli (troops) to perform this ceremony. Usually in the Dahi Handi ceremony, a group of boys make a human pyramid to  break the Handi, which is tied in the air. The Dahi Handi festival is also a depiction of one of the Govinda’s Leela's.

This year some of the Han dis were extra heavy with as much as Rs. 1 lake, put in for the winners. According to an office-bearer of the co-ordination committee one such Handy in Thane was kept at a height of nearly 40′ but that did not deter the enthusiastic Govindas from trying out their luck. Other prestigious Handis which attracted many groups were at Dadar, Mazgaon and Lalbaug.Dahi Handi generally takes place on the second day of Janmashtami.Young men in Mumbai yell ‘Ala re Ala, Govinda Ala’ during the ceremony.An earthen pot containing a mixture of milk, dry fruits, ghee is hung around 20-30 feet high in the air with the help of a rope. Silver coins are hung along with the rope,which are later distributed as prize to the winners. Enthusiastic young men, form a human pyramid by standing one on top of the other, trying to break the pot. Onlookers throw water on the young men in order to prevent them from breaking the pot. Breaking of the pot is followed by prize distribution. Devotees believe that the broken pieces of earthen pot will keep away mice and negative powers from their homes.

Dahi Handi has become competitive as several cash prizes are given away to the winners. Cash prizes depend upon how many tiers are displayed in the human pyramid, how professionally it is carried out and the celebrity attraction. Generally ‘mandals’ commence practice much in advance. Some localities offer prizes to the tune of Rs. 1 Million. Film personalities attending the program are often a highlight. Banners announcing the cash prize for Dahi Handi are displayed almost everywhere cross the city. Celebrities performing in the event are a major draw as is a Bollywood actor showing a film trailer of a soon-to-be-released movie. Foreign troupes such as the one that came to Mumbai to perform in 2012 and train the ‘Govindas’ in acrobatics to make the pyramid professionally has also been welcomed.

Dahi Handi Celebration Pictures Mumbai 

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