Sunday, August 12, 2012

Krishna Janmasthami – Celebrating the free and childhood spirit

The birth of Lord Krishna, called, Krishna Janmasthami in Sanskrit, marks the ninth and the most loved, reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Preserver. It is celebrated in the lunar calendar month of Shravan, between mid-August and mid-September, as per the Gregorian calendar. This tradition is celebrated as ‘Uriyadi’ in Tamil Nadu. This year, the festival was celebrated on August 10.

The festival is all about fasting, dance, drama, music, puja and bhajans.

'Dahi Handi' celebration in one of the streets in Goa

Showers of rain make the task more difficult

Mission accomplished !
The ritual of ‘Dahi Handi’ – is practiced to portray the playful and spirited side of Lord Krishna. A pot of curd is suspended from a rope tied high between two poles, which has to be broken. Thus groups of youngsters form human pyramids to achieve this task, whilst onlookers throw water on them, to make this game challenging. This can be witnessed in many streets in Mumbai, Goa and in Tamil Nadu, during Janmasthami or Gokulasthami.

“This is what rituals are for. We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don't have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down. We all need such places of ritual safekeeping. And I do believe that if your culture or tradition doesn't have the specific ritual you are craving, then you are absolutely permitted to make up a ceremony of your own devising, fixing your own broken-down emotional systems with all the do-it-yourself resourcefulness of a generous plumber/poet.”

― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love