MUMBAI: The Hindu festival of Krishna Janmashtami is being celebrated across India today. The festival celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, who is believed to be the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Temples are decorated and special programmes are organized to celebrate this festival. The streets are decked up and Dahi Handis are being hung. Dahi Handi is an event that involves communities hanging a pot filled with yogurt at a difficult to reach height. People then form teams, make a human pyramid, and attempt to break the pot.
We asked our favourite telly actors how they celebrate the auspicious day.
Anand Goradia: I have many fond memories of Janmashtami, I have participated in the Dahi Handi competition many times during my college days. It used to be great fun. It’s an amazing feeling of positivity. In Mumbai, the festival is celebrated with great fervour and makes one believe that unity is strength.
Sheeba: I love to celebrate all Indian festivals with great love and tradition. On Krishna Janam, I go to the Iskcon temple for abhishek and darshan. I do get invited to a lot of Dahi Handi competitions, but I get so scared watching kids climb crazy heights. It’s really such a cultural high to live in our rich and culturally diverse country. I am so proud of the love and fervour that is put into our festivals.
Gurucharan Singh: I have a lot of memories of Janmashtami. My friends come to my place, and we go together to the temple for Krishna Janam and other rituals. We once visited an exhibition where people themselves created crafts related to Lord Krishna. It was a nice experience.
Purru Chibber: I have never participated in Dahi Handi, but it really excites me when I watch people during Dahi Handi. Once, I remember my birthday was on the same day as Janmashtami, and I was invited as a guest. It was an amazing experience. I don’t follow or worship Lord Krishna and have never followed any rituals, but I have heard many stories.
Shashank Vyas: I have many memories of Janmashtami because I used to attend the Dahi Handi celebrations in my childhood. We used to go to temples, and I remember I would always lose my shoes in the crazy crowd. Lord Krishna is the God of romance and peace, and the most special thing about him is that he has a very charming persona. Coincidentally, my friends who love me a lot ,especially from Malad, call me Kanhaiya. I relate with Lord Krishna’s personality.
Rishina Kadhari: I have attended quite a few Dahi Handi festivals. I have visited temples and been part of a lot of rituals and ceremonies growing up. My dad was in the army and we used to celebrate every festival with a lot of gaiety and splendour. Going to the temple at midnight during Janmashtami was also part of that celebration. I totally value the teachings of Lord Krishna and resonate with them. His teachings are so relevant and true. Plus, his playful and colourful personality makes him so real and adds so much to his allure.
Saurabh Pandey: Dahi Handi is something that reminds me of my childhood days. I was always a fully dedicated Krishna bhakt, so I used to watch all Krishna TV series and Dahi Handi used to fascinate me the most. So, just to be like Krishna, I used to participate in Dahi Handi celebrations. Whenever I think of Dahi Handi, it brings a smile on my face and refreshes all the memories of my childhood. I worship Krishna every day, not just on Janmashtami. I like everything about Krishna from his childhood naughtiness, his fair judgement, him helping people, and his love story.
Himanshu Malhotra: Janmashtami for me only means celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna. Dahi Handi is the most common form of celebration seen in Maharashtra. It’s adventurous, but for me, it’s risky. So, I don’t encourage it at all. I respect all religions, but I don’t follow any. I believe in humanity. I have read Bhagwad Gita, which describes a lot about Lord Sri Krishna. I love the Rasleela of Lord Sri Krishna and his style. I find him very stylish compared to all the other Hindu Gods.
Sehban Azim: Everything is decorated so well on Janmashtami and you start feeling the festive vibes days before. I have never participated in Dahi Handi celebrations, but I love watching them. Staying in Mumbai now, I get to see Dahi Handi, Guri Padwa, Ganpati, and all, as it is a cosmopolitan city.
Kunal Thakkur: Janmashtami has always been a special occasion for me. I used to participate as a kid in the celebrations. The entire colony used to unite in celebrating the festival. It was so much fun. As far as Dahi Handi is concerned, I used to see it every year but was too young to participate.
Saurabh Pandey: I have never participated or visited any event of Dahi Handi. But I have seen a few on the roads when they are performing as they climb on one another to get to the Handi. It’s really interesting to see how they do it: climb and maintain balance. It’s truly solid teamwork and is dangerous too at the same time. Not everyone can do it. Truly a heartfelt applause to them. All I have to say is please be careful and stay safe. Radha Krishna are our favourite Gods. We worship them every Janmashtami after doing a puja and offering bhog (food) to Radha Krishna at home. We visit the Iskcon temple to enjoy the grand celebration of Lord Krishna’s Birthday. That’s what we have been doing for years. We visit the temple take darshan, meet devotes, hear about the leelas of the lord, chant mala on his holy names, do jhula to little infant Krishna and enjoy the heavenly tasting prasadam, which is first offered to Radha Krishna.