Dahi Handi in Maharashtra in 2022

Dahi Handi in Maharashtra in 2022
Dahi Handi on Gokulashtami festival in india. Image by adsniks , via 123RF

  How long until Dahi Handi?
Dahi Handi
  Dates of Dahi Handi in Maharashtra
2022 Fri, Aug 19Regional Holiday
  Summary

A popular festival in Maharashtra on the day after Janmashtami.

Dahi Handi in Maharashtra in 2022

Chief minister Eknath Shinde has announced that Dahi Handi, will be declared a public holiday across the state on August 19th 2022.

Shinde said that until now, collectors in some districts in the state had been issuing a public holiday notice for Dahi Handi in their districts, but now he will talk to the chief secretary and ask him to issue a notice for the entire state. It is already observed as a public holiday in the MMR.

"Dahi Handi celebrations are very popular in the state and with Covid19 restrictions coming to end, the festival will be celebrated in a big way this year," he said.

When is Dahi Handi?

Dahi Handi is celebrated the day after Krishna Janmashtami in Maharashtra and other states in western India. The event symbolizes the stealing of butter by Krishna and his friends. 

Traditions of Dahi Handi

The major attraction of the festival is ‘dahi-handi’. It involves communities hanging a clay pot filled with yogurt (dahi), butter, or another milk-based food at a convenient or tall height. Young men and boys form teams, make a human pyramid, and attempt to reach or break the pot. As they do so, people surround them, sing, play music, and cheer them on. It is a public spectacle, and an old tradition.

Over 4000 “dahi-handi” events are organized on Janmashtami in Mumbai alone; the most popular of them being held at Girgaon, Dadar, Lower Parel, Worli and Lalbaug.

The event is based on the legend of the god Krishna along with his friends who steal butter and other curds from the houses of neighbours in Gokul as a child. He is also called Makhan chor or butter thief. The neighbours would try to avert his mischief by hanging the pots high out of his reach, but Krishna would find creative ways to reach them.

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