In the distance, you hear a rumbling. Sounds like thunder though the weather seems particularly pleasant that evening. So not that. But what could be causing the earth to shiver beneath you? You make your way towards the source of this ‘rumble’, through busy crowded streets, in a city dressed in lights and festivities for that evening and where your search leads you to, astonishes you. Scores of youth stand huddled together, the look of determination smeared across their faces as they seem to fixate upon something above. Is it the sky? A star perhaps? The moon? It at first doesn’t make sense… and then you see it. Strung up high above the huddled mass below, balances a delicate clay pot.
Aha! The source of the inspiration. But wait, why a pot? And why has the hurdled youth banded together to form a…. human pyramid? Wait, what’s going on!
Well, no fear for the information is here! The above mentioned is what happens to be the celebratory tradition known as ‘Dahi Handi’ or pot of yoghurt. And this is associated with the Hindu festival Krishna Janmashtami, which marks the birth of the Lord Vishnu in his human form. This festival is looked forward to with great enthusiasm and is celebrated with even more panache and vigor.
Though it’s also fun to dive right into the heart of things (this case the heart would be feasting on endless mounds of sweets and dishes) let’s learn a bit more about the rich tapestry of information that surrounds the festival and its proceedings.