Krishna Janmashtami - Celebrating Krishna’s Birthday
Krishna Janmashtami marks the birth of Lord KrishnaKrishna
It is described that there are three aspects of the Supreme that must... and is celebrated on the eighth day of Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada (August-September) according to Hindu calendar. The festival is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm especially in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Manipur, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, West Bengal, Delhi, Assam, and Uttar Pradesh. The day is known with different names throughout the country. Some call it as Krishnashtami, A festival celebrated as the birthday of Krishna Gokulashtami and some as Krishna Janam and Srikrishna Jayanti etc. The most striking feature of the day is that the rituals and celebrations take place during mid-night in various temples.
Regional Flavors in Celebrations
The devotees of Krishna stay vigil at night and sing hymns and songs in his praise. They fast for the entire day and visit temple to listen to his tales. Temples are decorated with flowers and lights. The idols of Krishna are made to worn new clothes. They are placed in a small cradle which is tied with a string or a thread. Devotees swing the cradle and welcome him in the form of a newborn child. Fruits and flowers are offered to him. He was a lover of curd and butter and offerings are also made of the same.
Krishna was a very mischievous young boy. He loved buttermilk and butter and he used to steal it from different houses, along with his friends. The women started placing these earthen pots filled with buttermilk on a suitable height so that the boys couldn’t steal it any longer but Krishna was very active and intelligent. He use to make human pyramid with his friends to reach till the pot and then break it. This playfulness of Krishna converted into an event itself. Now in major parts of Maharashtra like Mumbai and Pune, local women tie the pot filled with buttermilk at a great height (20-40 feet) and group of youngsters known as Govinda Pathak construct a human pyramid by standing over each other’s shoulders till the topmost boy reaches the pot and break it with a coconut. These groups are also paid in cash and kind if they are able to complete their task successfully. People dance and sing in immense joy when the pot is broken and their faces and body are smeared with the buttermilk.
Krishna also loved dancing and playing with his female companions known as Gopis. His favorite of them was RadhaRadha
Radha, also known as Radhika and Radharani was a Gopi (milkmaid)... with whom he used to spend hours. Radha danced on the tunes of his flute and he admired her grace and charm. This whole act was known as Ras Lila. Such celebrations take place in Vrindavan- Mathura (Uttar Pradesh), Gujarat and Manipur. Devotees dress up beautifully and dance in a frenzy-like state. They feel utmost love and devotion for the God and enjoy the day by involving and indulging themselves in the dramatic dance enactments of the life of Krishna. Kids also dress up as Krishna and Radha and dance on the hymns of Krishna in temples.
Reasons to Celebrate Janamashtami
Krishna was a leader, hero, philosopher and protector of the weak and the rightful. He was born in the reign of the evil. Dishonesty, corruption and immorality was prevailing. He came on earth to end the terror and bring the just and happy times. The day is celebrated to encourage goodwill and honesty, to teach people the difference between right and wrong, to give them the lessons of life and to imbibe the feeling of unity and faith. The most prevalent belief is that God will always come to help in some form or the other, he will come to end the evil and to save the good.