Mumbai: Streets in Mumbai will again ring with the chants of ‘Govinda aala re aala’ on the festival of Janmashtami this year. The Dahi Handi festival will be celebrated in Mumbai and surrounding cities on Friday where groups of youth form human pyramids in a contest to burst the pots hanging high.
The decades-long festival will return to the streets of Mumbai after two years’ halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic where everything had come to a standstill. The festival of Janmashtami is celebrated across the country but the tradition of Dahi Handi is unique to Mumbai.
One of the dahi handis sponsored by Mumbai BJP President Shelar is in news as he wil hold the dahi-handi celebrations at the Jambori Maidan in Worli on Friday, which is a Sena stronghold and also the Assembly constituency of the Yuva Sena chief, Aditya Thackeray.
Driven out of Jambori Maidan this year, now the Sena plans to hold its revelries at Worli Naka — with an undeclared competition on who will make it a bigger affair — likely to be witnessed on Friday.
With time, the festivities have also increased with many political parties also actively participating in this festival. Several dahi handis sponsored by politicians are hung in Mumbai and Thane. Particularly the dahi handis of Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik from Thane and BJP MLA from Ghatkopar Ram Kadam are quite famous.
Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare’s dahi handi in Thane also remains a highlight.
Usually human pyramids are formed as high as 6 to 7 storeys but many groups try to form higher pyramids with 9 to 10 storeys. For this risky game, which sometimes even turns fatal, people start preparing several days before the festival approaches. These youths, who are occupied with their earning activities in the day, gather at night in empty fields to practice forming human pyramids.
(With IANS inputs)