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Dahi handi celebration in Maharashtra

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Published on Aug 2, 2012

Janmashtami celebrations in Maharashtra are superb with the event of Dahi Handi. The cities of Mumbai and Pune wear a festive look on the day of Lord Krishna's birthday.

Like many other parts of the country, the celebrations in Maharashtra were markedly upbeat. Various temples in the state are filled with the devotees who chant special Krishna hymns in Sanskrit. They invoke Lord Vishnu for his blessings and ask for forgiveness.

Janmaashtami, popularly known in Mumbai and Pune as Dahi Handi is celebrated with enormous zeal and enthusiasm. The handi is a clay pot filled with buttermilk that was positioned at a convenient height prior to the event; the topmost person on the human pyramid tries to break the handi by hitting it with a blunt object, and when that happens, the buttermilk is spilled over the entire group, symbolizing their achievement through unity. Various Handis are set up locally in several parts of the city, and groups of youngsters, called Govinda, travel around in trucks trying to break as many handis as possible during the day.

Many such Govinda Pathaks compete with each other, especially for the handis that dole out hefty rewards. The event, in recent times, has gathered a political flavor, and it is not uncommon for political parties, and rich community groups to offer prizes amounting to lakhs of rupees.

Some of the most famous handis are at Dadar, Mazgaon, Lalbaug and some in Thane a neighboring district of Mumbai and Babu Genu, Mandai in Pune.

Cash and gifts are offered for Govinda troops to participate; for over 4000 Handis in Mumbai, 700 Govinda troops compete for the prizes.

Source: wikipedia

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