The day of the cow



The unique tradition of Dhendlo was celebrated in parts of Goa on the third day of Diwali. The tradition is celebrated in reverence to Lord Krishna, a god associated with the pastoral life and cowherds. The villagers worship cows. A miniature cowshed is set up using cow dung in every courtyard.

As part of the celebrations, devotees build an idol of Lord Krishna out of material including hay and leaves and the ‘kareet’ fruit is used to symbolise the cows. Replicas of cooking utensils fashioned from cow dung can also be seen in this cowshed. Following the rituals, the villagers prepare special food and serve it on banana leaves far into the fields or near the river, where they dine together. This ritual is followed to enact what Lord Krishna would do when he was asked to take care of the cows. The cattle are decked up and imprinted with rings of rice batter and they are then fed polle, pancakes made from rice and wheat. Later in the evening the cowshed is removed and a Tulsi vrindavan is constructed on the same spot. The next day this vrindavan is broken down and this is made into cow dung cakes. This also paves the way to the season of making cow dung cakes.