Dahi Handi

THE HANS INDIA |   Jul 18,2017 , 02:33 AM IST
   


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The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the Maharashtra government to clarify the grounds for classifying 'Dahi Handi' as an adventure sport in 2015 and permitting minors to participate in the festival. It was hearing a petition seeking contempt action against a BJP leader and others for flouting conditions and restrictions laid down by the high court for the Dahi Handi festival in 2015.

However, on August 11 the same year the government declared Dahi Handi as an adventure sport.   The court had said the human pyramids formed during the festival shall not exceed the height of 20 feet and no minor shall be permitted to participate in its formation. But, the government permitted minors above the age of 11 years, but with a letter from their parents. 

The state government also did not put a limit on the height of the pyramids. Equipment such as chest guard, safety belts, helmets, harness and foams for the pyramid to land have been made compulsory. The organisers will have to give a life insurance cover to the participants and keep facilities such as ambulances, doctors and mobile toilets on standby.

Dahi Handi (dahi: curd or yoghurt, handi: earthen pot) is one of the festive events and a team sport during the Hindu festival Gokulashtami, which is known as Krishna Janmashtami in the rest of the country, and celebrates the birth of Krishna, writes Wikipedia. It is celebrated the day after Krishna Janmashtami.  It involves communities hanging an earthen pot filled with dahi (yoghurt) or other milk-based delicacy, at a convenient or difficult to reach height. Young men and boys form teams, make a human pyramid and attempt to reach or break the pot. 

Dahi Handi festival is based on the legend of the Krishna stealing butter and other milk products as a baby (he is also called Makhan chor), the community hiding the products by hanging them high out of his reach, but he would find creative ways to reach what he wanted. A participant in this festival is called a govinda or govinda pathak. It is mostly popular in Maharashtra and nearby regions of India, elaborates Wikipedia.

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