Janmashtami or Gokulashtami which is celebrated with great pomp and fervor in the country falls on August 14 this year. The religious festival celebrates the birth of Hindu God Krishna who was born in Vrindavan. The day is celebrated with people forming human pyramids to break a ceremonial pot tied on height with a rope. A young boy then climbs to the top of the pyramid and breaks the pot which is filled with curd and money resembling Lord Krishna’s childhood. While these celebrations show the country’s cultures, beliefs, and tradition, the safety of people forming the human pyramids (Govindas) is of huge concern. Special prayers in temples, dance, music, delicacies are a part of this festival. North India, especially Mathura which is believed to the birth place of Lord Krishna dresses up in bright colors and witnesses celebrations on large scale.
In 2016, concerned over the safety of young Govindas, the Supreme Court had banned those below 18 years of age from participating in the sport. However, according to the latest report, children below the age of 14 years cannot participate in Dahi Handi festival. However, the Bombay High court did not impose any restriction on the height of the human pyramid formations. Dahi Handi is the enactment of the myth of Lord Krishna stealing butter from a pot tied to the roof of the house climbing on his friends’ shoulders. However, if you are planning to participate in the extravaganza then these pointers may prove handy. Here are five things you must ensure if you are going to be a part of the celebrations:
1.Don’t drive and drive
This does not just apply on the day of Dahi Handi, but your life in general. But especially during the festivities ensure you don’t get swayed away in the celebratory mood and drive after drinking. Security will be tight across the country to get hold on drunken drivers and those creating ruckus.
2.Don’t drink if you are participating
If you are one of the Govindas who will be participating in Dahi Handi then ensure you are not under the influence of alcohol. You will have to be physically strong for this sport so drinking before the event should be avoided. People have been injured in the past when people standing in the bottom lost balance. Krishna Janmashtami 2017 Date: Puja Muhurat, Vrat Vidhi, Fasting, Auspicious timings & Significance of Golkulashtami festival
3.Don’t skip breakfast and stay hydrated
Dahi Handi begins late in the morning and continues till late afternoon. If you are planning to participate in the event ensure you have eaten int he morning. Staying empty stomach is not recommended as one has to be strong to remain through such long duration. The same also applies to people going to simply watch the event. Also, keep yourself hydrated with water at regular intervals.
4.Ensure the organisers have first aid, in case of an emergency
Dahi Handis are generally sponsored events with a lot of celebrations. Ensure the organisers have a first aid in case a mishap occurs. First aid is a must to deal with an emergency situation. Also, check with organisers for ambulance facilities. An ambulance is mandatory for the spot-on treatment of injured Govindas.
5.Use basic safety measures
If you are the Govindas ensure ypu have a helmet and knee cap. Also ensure there is a 3-inch thick mat spread on the ground below the pyramid.
6.Assure your safety
Over the years, molestation and sexual assault have been reported multiple times during Dahi Handi celebrations. Ensure your safety and report to authorities if any uthwarted incident occurs.
The festival is celebrated with a lot of celebrations in Mathura. In 2016, at least 16 lakh devotees paid obeisance at different temples in Brijbhumi on the occasion of Krishna Janmashtami. One of the major ceremonies of the festival includes the bathing ceremony of the deity in Radha Raman temple with milk, curd, ghee, honey, khandsari and herbal drugs. The deity is generally adorned in colorful dress, jewels and pearls and after the bathing ceremony. We at India.com wish you all a Happy Janmashtami.