Dahi Handi is one of the festive events observed during the Hindu festival Krishna Janmashtami (known as Gokulashtami in South India). Celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Krishna, the festival is very popular in India and is celebrated with great pomp and show.
Dahi translates to the Curd and Handi is an earthen pot in which milk products are kept. Dahi Handi celebration is known as Gopalakala in Maharashtra.
Dahi Handi commemorates one of the life phases of Lord Krishna. In his childhood, young Krishna used to steal curd and butter from the pots hanging through the roof life a chandelier. As Krishna and his friends were not able to reach the pots due to their short height, they devised an idea of forming a human pyramid to reach the pots. They would stand on each other, forming a ladder and would reach the pot to enjoy the butter and curd.
This has become a folklore and is inacted by the troops of young boys. The participants of this event are known as Govinda or Govinda Pathak. Dahi Handi is very popular in Maharashtra and nearby regions.
These days, Dahi Handi has emerged as a competitive sport. Hundreds of teams participate every year in the event. Celebrities come to promote the event. Huge amount of prize money is distributed to the winners. Dahi Handi has been expressively highlighted in many Bollywood movies. Even the event has its own slogan “Govinda Aaala Re”!