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Ceremony of Dahi Handi

Janmashtami

Celebration of Janmashtami, birth of the famous Lord Krishna includes a number of ceremonies like, Raslila, Jhankis (tableaux) etc. Dahi Handi is a popular ceremony, celebrated with lot of enthusiasm and glee. Dahi Handi is an enactment of Lord Krishna's efforts to steal butter from Matka (earthen pot) suspended from the ceiling.

The Celebrations
Dahi Handi generally takes place on the second day of Janmashtami. 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 is celebrated with fervor, especially in the twin cities of Mathura - Vrindavan, Dwarka and Mumbai. Young men in Mumbai yell 'Ala re ala, Govinda ala' during the ceremony.