Dahi Handi or Gopal Kala, is a part of Janmashtami celebration, enjoyed all across the country on the second day of Krishna Janmashtami. With men making huge pyramids to reach out to the Dahi Handi hung at great heights, the festival is enjoyed with great enthusiasm not just amongst the participants in the competition, but equally amongst the viewers.
A beautifully decorated pot filled with curd, milk, ghee and dry fruit is hung at almost 20 to 30 feet height with the help of a rope. Reaching this pot is a big challenge, especially with the viewers spraying water on the face and body of these participants, distracting them from their goal of reaching the Dahi Handi. Silver coins fixed on the pot are gifted to the winners who successfully reach the dahi Handi.
Significance of Dahi Handi
Lord Krishna, in his infant form loved eating butter and would gather his friends to steal the butter from the handi. They would make small pyramids to reach the dahi handi hung at greater heights and then enjoy eating the tasty butter made by their mother. This is the real story behind celebrating Dahi Handi, which depicts the mischievous acts of Lord Krishna. However, the festival also has a very philosophical meaning to it.
The pot is believed to the human ego or also the sense of our body and mind identification, which is held back by dangles of Samsara. The content of the Handi is the being. Lord Krishna breaks the pot and releases the content from the binding of the Samsara. In this way, he reveals the real bliss of life, introducing one to the true self.
Every year, hundreds of groups participate in this competition, trying to break the Dahi Handi and receive the blessings of Lord Krishna.