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All hands on deck to crack a pot

Hindu devotees praying before forming a human pyramid to reach and break a dahi-handi (curd-pot) that was suspended high above the ground during the Janmashtami Festival in Mumbai yesterday.

The festival celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, one of the most popular gods in Hinduism.

Legend has it that the child-god Krishna and his friends used to form human pyramids to break pots hung from the ceilings of neighbourhood houses, in order to steal curd and butter.

This was in Vrindavan, a village in Uttar Pradesh, India, where Krishna grew up. He used to distribute the curd and butter among his friends because during the rule of his maternal uncle King Kamsa, their parents were forced to hand over everything produced to the king's home in Mathura.

The children of Vrindavan village were thus deprived of milk products.

This year, Mumbai police, following the directive of the High Court and the state administration, have ordered organisers to limit the height of human pyramids to 20ft (6.1m).

For the last three years, participants have been making towering nine-tier human pyramids. In 2012, they entered the Guinness Book Of World Records for a 43.79ft pyramid.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2015, with the headline 'All hands on deck to crack a pot'. Print Edition | Subscribe