Janmashtami: Balagopal avatar of Lord Krishna, a festival to celebrate childhood innocence

This eagerly awaited Janmashtami festival is being celebrated this year on the 11th and 12th of August. On this day, people worship their idols, fast for the day and pray to God. It celebrates the victory of those who do good against those with evil intentions.

For this festival, temples, houses and housing societies are all drenched with lights and flowers. People gather to sing in remembrance of Lord Krishna’s Balagopal form, worship him and sing songs in his honour.

Many people relate Janmashtami to the Dahi Handi (A pot of curd) competitions carried out in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Here, a group of young boys and men form a human pyramid to try to break the Dahi Handi which is tied 30 feet from the ground. Young boys and men form teams and compete in various Dahi handi competitions in their neighbourhood.

This ritual reminds us of Lord Krishna’s childhood days when he used to steal curd, butter and ghee in his childhood. This earned him the nickname ‘Makhan Chor’ or butter thief. To hide these foods from Krishna, women used to hide it at a height so that it is out of reach to Lord Krishna. The whole idea of breaking the Dahi Handi to get a prize is the best part of this festival.