Janmashtami is an important day in the Hindu calendar because it marks the birth of Krishna, one of the most popular Hindu gods.


Dahi Handi

Most Hindus believe that Krishna is the avatar, or incarnation, of Vishnu, one of the five primary forms of God. Vishnu is the preserver and protector of the universe. Vishnu usually appears in a human body, with blue-coloured skin and four arms. Krishna, on the other hand, has a variety of forms. Most popular forms are Krishna as a blue god-child, as a divine hero, or as a model lover.

Krishna is always the centre of Janmashatami, but the day is celebrated differently across India. Around Mumbai, in the state of Maharashtra, it’s common to celebrate with a sport called Dahi Handi. In Dahi Handi, a handi, a clay pot filled with buttermilk, is first hung to a high location. A group of men then forms a human pyramid beneath the handi, and the topmost person in the pyramid tries to break the claypot. As buttermilk from the broken handi drips down the human pyramid it symbolizes unity.