What is Krishna Janmashtami ?
Krishna Janmashtami is a popular celebration of Hindus in India. During the monsoon month, the birthday of Lord Krishna is celebrated to commemorate the birth of him. Sri Krishna was the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was born almost 52,00 years ago in Mathura. He played a vital role to free the earth from all the evilness. He was an essential portion of Mahabharata and preached the theory of Vakti and good karma deeply in the Bhagwat Geeta. From Mahabharata, we know that the birth of Lord Krishna occurred to kill his maternal uncle. There is another included story that Lord Vishnu created him for saving the world from the hands of demons and goons.
When is Krishna Janmashtami Celebrated ? (Janmashtami Kab Hai )
Janmasthami is a gazetted holiday in several regions of India. According to the Hindu calendar, people celebrate it on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksha in the month of Shravana or Bhadra. But according to the Gregorian calendar it overlaps with August or September.
You can check when is Krishna Janmashtami this year on All Indian Festivals Calendar.
History Of Krishna Janmashtami
The history of Janmashtami goes back to the thousands year ago. The origin of it indicates to the legendary account of the birth of Krishna, which started almost five and a half thousand years ago from now. On that time there ruled a demon king known as Kansa. He was very whimsy and oppressive toward the people of the city. That tyrannical king had overthrown his father Ugrasena, even he, did not spare his loved one. But King Kansa had a soft corner toward his cousin Devki. As he loved her, so he wanted to marry her off with a decent man. King Kansa found Vasudeva was a great man, and he gave Devkis hand to him. But when the marriage ceremony was almost finished, he came to know from Narada(the great saga) that he would die by the hands of the eighth child of Devki and Vasudeva. With anger, Kansa wanted to kill his cousin, but his husband pleaded him and told he would surrender every child they will give birth to him. As the promise each time they gave birth to a child, Kansa visited it on the prison and smashed its head. When it was time to gave birth to the eight children of them, a miracle had happened.
Suddenly all the guards went in a deep sleep. Vasudeva and Devaki had a rash to rescue themselves; they drooped to the ground and gave birth to a child who was dark in complexion. As the direction of akashvani, he kept his child in a chhaaj which was very dirty. The baby was rescued by Nand one of Vasudeva’s friend and looked after by her wife, Yashoda. Yashoda had a baby girl who was placed by the dark boy, and Vasudeva returned to the prison with the girl-child. After getting the news of that Kans came in a hurry and picked up the baby for killing. He threw it against the wall, but it flew up into the air and started taunting Kansa. From there this baby girl has been worshipped under various names- Durga, Tara, Ishani and Mandakini.
How is Krishna Janmashtami Celebrated ?
This is a famous festival for Hindus. Wherever there are vishana Temples, people start the countdown of Janmashtami before dawn. It continues all through the day and at midnight hours which is the exact moment of the birth Lord Krishna they celebrate. In this Common festival, Kirtan is sung by the group of singers. From dawn to till midnight, people observe fast. Through this fleeting season, people engaged themselves by singing Kirtan, dancing, playing drama, praying, etc. In most of the temple, there is an arrangement of dance-drama named ‘Raas-Lila’. There they recite Krishna’s dialogue from Bhagwad Gita. And all these start before a few days of Janmashtami.
In every temple and home, people prepare garlands and bathes the idol of Lord Krishna with fragrant water. This bathing procession is known as Abhisekh. They also read religious scripture there. At midnight, when the clock strikes 12, the priest draws the curtain off to show Lord Krishna’s idol, which was decored with new dresses and garlands.
There is another celebration called Nanda celebration. By distributing gifts to the whole community, Nanda celebrated the birth of Lord Krishna. This practice is still available in the name of Nandotsav. In every year at nandotsav rich people distribute food and clothes among the poor and to the whole community.
No celebration can complete without food items. India is a country of the festival, on every occasion, there are lots of mouth-watering foods to enjoy. Janmashtami is a festival of celebrating Lord Krishna’s birthday. In this day people prepare delicious snacks and sweets.
Panjari, Paag, Chinnamich, Fruits and Dry Fruits are prepared for Prasaad of Lord Krishna.
Sabudana vada, Sabudand Tikki, sabudana Pakora, Aloo Chaat, Roasted Makhana, Fruit Chaat are some snacks which are ready for the evening guest and devotees.
Generally, people prepare Sabudana Thalipeeth, Singhare ki poori, Dahi aloo, Samvat rice and Khichdi for the main meal.
For celebrating this festival desert-like carrot halwa, basundi, apple kheer, coconut laddoos are prepared.
Where Is Lord Krishna’s Birth Celebrated ?
Janmashtami is marked with great dignity not only in India but also across the world. Though some rituals and practices are the same everywhere, there are some variations in specific places. Here some list of places where this festival is celebrated –
Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, Dwarka, Gujrat, Gokul, Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai and Pune, Maharashtra, Puri, Odisha, Udupi, Karnataka, Guruvayur, Kerala, ISKCON temples in Assam and Manipur, West Bengal. Outside India, it is celebrated in Nepal, Bangladesh, Fiji, Pakistan, Arizona, United States, Guyana, Trinidad, Tobago, Jamaica, Surinam, etc.
Krishna Janmashtami is a festival of joy and happiness. To commemorate Lord Krishna birthday people celebrate it. After observing day-long fast, they welcome Krishna idol with high esteem. They sing, dance and play drama on the story of Krishna’s life. This festival keeps an essential effect on the life of all Hindus, whether they are Indian or non-Indian.