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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Krishna janmashtami, dahi handi celebrations: From govindas to temples in Mumbai, 10 things you must know

Mumbai set to celebrate Krishna janmashtami and dahi handi (August 15)

mumbai Updated: Aug 14, 2017 15:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Krishna Janmashtami celebrations at Juhu, Mumbai.
Krishna Janmashtami celebrations at Juhu, Mumbai.(HT FILE)

As the city gets ready to celebrate Krishna janmashtami and dahi handi, here are the 10 things you should know

1. The significance: Janmashtami – the eighth day of the Hindu month of Shravan – is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna, considered Lord Vishnu’s incarnation. Devotees fast and pray at midnight, the time when the Lord was born.

2. The temples to visit: Devotees throng the ISKCON temple in Juhu, Shri Krishna Pranami Mandir, Kalbadevi and Guruvayoor Shri Krishna temple, Navi Mumbai at midnight. Temples get baby cradles with a small statue of the Lord in them.

A puja being performed on the occasion of janmashtami at ISKCON, Juhu.
A puja being performed on the occasion of janmashtami at ISKCON, Juhu. ( File )

3. Dahi handi: Dahi handi is celebrated a day after the birth of Lord Krishna. According to Hindu mythology, Krishna and his friends used to form human pyramids to break pots hung from the ceilings of neighbourhood houses, in order to steal curd and butter in Vrindavan, a village in Uttar Pradesh. On this day, youngsters, called govindas, attempt to break the dahi handi by forming a human pyramids

Read: Mumbai dahi handis to go higher, grander: Height to age limit, it’s different this year

4. What is a dahi handi: A clay pot with curd, butter, and money

5. One fest, different names: In Gujarat and Dwarka, dahi handi is called Makhan Handi – an earthen pot filled with yogurt, ghee, almonds and nuts. It is called Uriadi in Tamil Nadu

A child dressed as Lord Krishna as part of the festivities.
A child dressed as Lord Krishna as part of the festivities. ( HT FILE )

6. Rules: The Maharashtra government is likely to ease the 20-ft limit. The state told the HC it won’t let children below 14 years participate in the event. The HC hasn’t put curbs on revelry.

7. Safety: The state has promised to take steps such as providing cushion layers, helmets, safety nets and chest guards, among others

Read: How is Dahi Handi an adventure sport: Bombay HC asks Maharashtra govt

8. Prizes: From DJs and artificial showers to Bollywood celebrities and cash prizes, political parties across the city are making grand plans for the day (August 15)

A dahi handi celebration at Navi Mumbai.
A dahi handi celebration at Navi Mumbai. ( HT FILE )

9. Political significance: For political parties, dahi handi is an important festival which helps them connect with youngsters, who help them during campaigning and influence voters in their localities. Political parties try to make the most of the opportunity by offering a range of goodies -- from T-shirts and refreshments to cash prizes and trucks to transport the revelers

10. No to noise: Dahi handi across the city and state could be a silent affair this year. A national body of sound and light professionals has decided its members will not issue 12,000 loudspeakers in Mumbai and over a lakh across the state on dahi handi and Independence Day, protesting against alleged police harassment, rude behaviour and the confiscating of their loudspeakers.

Read: Dahi handi injuries fell by 78% after height restrictions: Mumbai petitioner to SC

First Published: Aug 14, 2017 13:46 IST

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