Festival of Sri Krishna Janmashtami – An Auspicious Day for Hindus - Fusion - WeRIndia

Festival of Sri Krishna Janmashtami – An Auspicious Day for Hindus

Festival of Sri Krishna Janmashtami – An Auspicious Day for Hindus

Sri Krishna Janmashtami is an auspicious day celebrated on the occasion of the birth of Lord Krishna. It is also known as Gokulashtami. Generally it comes in the month of July or August in the Gregorian calendar. But this year, it came in the month of September. According to Puranas, Sri Krishna was born on the eighth lunar day (Ashtami) of the waning moon of the month of Sravana at midnight, when the moon enters into Rohini asterism.

The festival is celebrated with joy by Hindus not just in India, but also in other countries like Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan as Lord Krishna is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Many people celebrate it for two days as Krishna was believed to be born on the midnight of Ashtami. The celebrations start on the day of Ashtami and continues for the next day.

There is a fascinating story behind the celebrations of Sri Krishna Janmashtami. At the time of Krishna’s birth Mathura was under the rule of Kansa, Devaki’s brother. He put his father King Ugrasena in prison. Afraid by the prophecy that the eighth son of his sister Devaki would kill him, Kansa prisoned Devaki and her husband Vasudeva. He killed their six infants as soon as they were born in the prison. The seventh child was Balaram who was saved by the divine help as he was transferred to Rohini, the other wife of Vasudeva.

Krishna, the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudeva was taken to the home of Nanda which was called Gokul on the order of Lord Vishnu as soon as he was born in the prison. Hence, Krishna was raised by Yashoda, the wife of Nanda. That’s why he is called as Yashoda Krishna.


Celebrations

On the day of Krishnasthami, many people fast and chant the slokas from Bhagwad Gita. The temples of Lord Krishna are decorated. Children wear costumes of Krishna and Radhika. Various plays like Krishna Leela or Rasila – the stories of his childhood are performed as a dance drama. At midnight people break their fasting after performing aarti.

Though the spiritual rituals vary from place to place, the devotion towards their Lord is same everywhere. In North India, the celebrations are fabulous. In the cities of Mumbai and Pune, Dahi-handi is organized which is the most popular event there. In this, a group of men form a human pyramid. A pot of butter will be hanged at a height which is broken open to bring out the butter. The onlookers throw water at the men to prevent the boys from breaking the earthen pot.

In some eastern states like Orissa, and West Bengal, and in Dwaraka in Gujarat people celebrate the festival by fasting and perform pujas at midnight. Cribs are used as decoration to depict the entire life of Lord Krishna. These cribs are called Jhankis.

In South India, the people of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka celebrate this festival with more joy than others. People decorate their homes. The footprints of Little Krishna are designed on the floors of the homes. It is believed that Lord Krishna will visit their homes if they decorate their homes in such a way. A Mantapa is decorated in which the idol of Lord Krishna is placed. Special recipes are prepared to offer to Lord Krishna. In some places of Karnataka, avalakki, chakli and bellada panaka are prepared for this festival. Sri Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated throughout the country with fervor and joy.

Hindus in other countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan perform bhajans, and enchant slokas with devotion.

References: Festivals of India and Happywink

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