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Home » Sports in Kerala » Uriyadi Sport In Kerala

Uriyadi Sport In Kerala

The Hindus of Kerala celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna as Janmashtami or Sree Krishna Jayanti with great fervor and joy.

Their spirits are infectious and even those who belong to other religions join in and participate in the general gaiety and various celebrations. A number of games such as Uriyadi are played on this occasion as the Lord Krishna is known for his pranks and mischief.

It is a traditional Indian practice to store food items such as milk, butter and curds in earthen pots and hang them from ropes tied to the beams on the roof.

This protects them from being despoiled by stray animals such as cats that may enter the household without the inhabitants' knowledge.

Legend has it that being a mischievous child, the Lord would enter the households of the villagers who were out on their daily chores and with a group of friends would form a human pyramid.

Now climbing atop his friend's shoulders, he broke these pots and stole their butter and curds. So great was the Lord's love for these items.

This prank is enacted by the devotees on Janmastami day by performing the Uriyadi. Traditionally, an earthen pot is hung high up in the air and is suspended by ropes. The pot hangs at a height of about 30-40 feet from the ground.

Troops of young lads try to break this pot. Traditionally the pot would contain a mixture of milk, dry fruits and clarified butter (ghee). Nowadays the pots are filled with candies or simply water.

They form a human pyramid. Some hold each other's shoulders and others climb on their shoulders and so on till a single boy climbs atop them all and tries to break the pot with a stick. Colored water is splashed and thrown on them to make the task more difficult.

Sometimes the pyramids break and sometimes they are successful. The successful trops are awarded and fed delicious food by the spectators.

Energy levels and enthusiasm runs high and the name of the lord is chanted to encourage the participants. Uriyadi is a group effort and a fun sport. The young boys forget their petty rivalries and combine forces on this auspicious day.

The Uriyadi festivals held at Vadayattukotta temple and Kottamkulangara Temple in Vilakkeduppu are spectacular and attract devotees in great numbers.