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Dahi Handi - Janmashtami Matki Phod - Govinda
Janmashtami is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Krishna. On this day, various events are organized by the people to make the day memorable and to appease Lord Krishna. The main event for this occasion is Dahi Handi. In this event, a Handi is hung at a certain height which is full of curd or butter. Dahi Handi is also known as Gopalkala, Mataki Fod and many more. In 2017, it will be observed on 14th of August. Read on to know more...
Dahi Handi - Govinda Sport
On the day of Dahi Handi, an earthen pot filled with curd is hanged on a good height from the ground. Young boys and girls make human pyramids to reach the pot and break it for curd. This celebration commemorates the favorite pastime of Lord Krishna of stealing curd and butter. The Govinda sport is organized by some organizations and communities. A prize is set for the winning team of Gopalakala. The team who breaks the pot in minimum time becomes the winner.
What is Inside the Handi?
As the name suggests, you must be thinking that Dahi Handi must be containing Dahi (curd). However, it holds the Dahi Poha actually. Dahi is the Hindi name for curd and Poha is the Hindi term for rice flakes. Apart from this, sugar and pickle is also added to the mixture. The Handi (earthen pot) is decorated quite beautifully with flowers and currency notes. Sometimes, human pyramids go so high that they reach the eleven stories. Like every year, people are going to celebrate Dahi Handi this year also with great zeal.
Dahi Handi - Technical Side
Obviously, when Dahi Handi is a sport, there must be some technicalities and rules into it. There are four parameters of the game - Handi's height, width of the space under Handi, number of people for human pyramid and number of layers to be made for reaching the Handi.
The skill that is of biggest priority is centering exactly under the Handi. Most of the time, bad centering affects the sport, as the topmost player becomes a little away from the Handi. This happens mostly with the new players, so they are advised to only salute the Handi instead of breaking it if get a little away. Hence, this sport is also sub-divided into 2 sections; one is Govinda with Handi and Govinda with Salaam (Salute).
Dahi Handi - Human Pyramid Technique
During Dahi Handi, you will see the same Human Pyramid technique that is being used year after year. Human pyramids are formed by the layers of humans in the form of circle one on one. The main fun about Dahi Handi is human pyramid. In early days, almost everybody used to become the part of this frolic festival. That is why it was possible to make a good human pyramid. People used to stand in circle and another circle is made over them. Like this, the circles are formed receding in diameter. As the soon as the time changed, participation ratio fell down. Hence, the concept of hollow human pyramids emerged. The hollow human pyramid is consisted of only people standing in circle but not inside the circle. One on one the hollow circled layers are formed to reach the Handi.
Once a Spanish sportsman visited in India and saw this sport. As there is a similar sport in Spain too, he suggested an easier way that requires fewer humans. They use a ladder arrangement to reach the height. As this arrangement requires minimum number of humans, it is now mostly used in Govinda sport.
Dahi Handi and Gender Discrimination
Dahi Handi does not require any special physical strength but still it requires some physical efforts. Therefore, mostly boys perform it. Over that, this festival is celebrated to commemorate the act of Lord Krishna for stealing curd. Hence, boys perform Govinda sport exactly like how Lord Krishna used to do it.
Obviously, who doesn't want to participate in such an awesome celebration? That is why girls also participate in Dahi Handi.
In the ladder arrangement, three girls reach the height of the pyramid by going on top. So, ladder arrangement is more popular in female Govinda sport. This is celebrated by all girls.The ladder pattern also increases stability of the pyramid. With this method, Govinda reaches to the enormous height. The triple player strategy can stretch the Govinda's height to 15 feet easily.
This was brief on Dahi Handi. Hope you will make the best out of Govinda sport this time. Happy Dahi Handi..!