Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Dahi Handi and Human Pyramids

This year because we are now living in Bandra we didn't have far to walk to see the annual Krishna Janmashtami festival - also known as Dahi Handi (dahi means curd and handi means earthen pot in Hindi).  This festival involves making a human pyramid to break a pot filled with curd (and also sometimes prize money) tied high above the street.  In our street alone there were 2 of these pots, and there was a huge one in a neighbouring street.

This festival celebrates the birth of the Hindu god Krishna and is based on the legend of Krishna as a child stealing butter by forming human pyramids with his friends to get to the pots hung from the ceilings of the neighbourhood houses and so steal the butter.

Teams of people get ready for this festival weeks before by practicing pyramid formation.  There are a large number of people at the bottom who hold up the pyramid.  In the middle are the people who are responsible for keeping the pyramid in balance, and at the top are the lighter people (usually children) who try to break the pot.

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