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Human Tower : Special Attraction of Dahihandi Festival

History of Janmaashtami : Mathura was led by Kansa a wicked king. He had a sister Devaki, who was married to Vasudeva. It was predicted that Sri Krishna would be born to Devaki and would kill the wicked king Kansa. This enraged Kansa and he had all the male child of Devaki killed, after imprisoning Devaki and Vasudeva. But since the eight avatar of Lord Vishnu was bound to kill Kansa, Sri Krishna was born in midnight. All the other children born to Devaki, except Balaram were killed. Vasudeva managed to save the child from the cruel clutches of Kansa and he exchanged child Sri Krishna with female child of Yashoda. Krishna lived in Gokul during his infancy till the age of eleven years to hide himself from the clutches of his maternal uncle, Kansa. Finally, Sri Krishna kills Kansa.

Janmaashtami, popularly known in Mumbai, Aurangabad and Pune as Dahi Handi, is celebrated with enormous zeal and enthusiasm. The handi is a clay pot filled with buttermilk that is positioned at a convenient height prior to the event. The topmost person on the human pyramid tries to break the handi by hitting it with a blunt object. Mostly nariyal (coconut) is preferred being a sign of purity, truth etc. in Hinduism. When that happens the buttermilk is spilled over the entire group, symbolizing their achievement through unity. Handis are set up around the city, and groups of youngsters, called Govinda Pathaks, travel around in trucks trying to break as many handis as possible during the day. Many such Govinda Pathaks compete with each other, especially for the handis that dole out hefty rewards. The event, in recent times, has gathered a political flavor, and it is common for political parties and rich community groups to offer prizes amounting to lakhs of rupees.

source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krishna_Janmashtami

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