Janmashtami, also spelled as Janmastami or Krishna Janmashtami, is a Hindu festival celebrated to commemorate the birth of Lord Krishna, who is considered one of the most revered deities in Hinduism. This festival typically falls on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the month of Bhadrapada of the Hindu lunar calendar, which usually corresponds to August or September in the Gregorian calendar.
Janmashtami is observed with great enthusiasm and devotion across India and by Hindu communities worldwide. The celebrations include a variety of customs and traditions, such as:
- Fasting: Devotees often observe a day-long fast, breaking it only at midnight, the supposed time of Lord Krishna’s birth.
- Bhajans and Kirtans: Devotional songs and hymns are sung in praise of Lord Krishna, celebrating his life and divine qualities.
- Dahi Handi: In some regions, young people participate in a game known as “Dahi Handi” or “Gopalkala,” where they form human pyramids to break a pot filled with curd and butter, which symbolizes Lord Krishna’s love for dairy products.
- Temples and Homes Decoration: Hindu temples and homes are adorned with flowers, lights, and images or idols of Lord Krishna.
- Midnight Celebrations: The birth of Lord Krishna is believed to have occurred at midnight, so devotees often stay awake until midnight, reciting prayers, singing devotional songs, and reading from the Bhagavad Gita or other scriptures.
- Jhulan Utsav: Swing decorations (jhulas) are set up with idols of Radha and Krishna, and devotees take turns swinging them, symbolizing the divine love between Radha and Krishna.
- Ras Lila: In some regions, reenactments of the Ras Lila, the divine dance of Lord Krishna with the Gopis (cowherd maidens), are performed.
Janmashtami is not only a religious festival but also a cultural and social celebration that brings communities together. It is a time for reflection, devotion, and joyful festivities, all centered around the life and teachings of Lord Krishna. Different regions in India may have their unique customs and traditions associated with Janmashtami, but the essence of the festival remains the same: celebrating the birth of a beloved deity and his role as a divine guide and teacher.
Seven things About Janmashtami !