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Janmashtami

Janmashtami is celebrated to observe the birth of Lord Krishna. This festival takes place on Asthami tithi means the 8th day of Krishna Paksha of the month of Bhadra of the Hindu calendar. Krishna Janmashtami is also known as 'Krishnashtami','Saatam Aatham,'Gokulashtami', 'Ashtami Rohini', 'Srikrishna Jayanti', 'Sree Jayanthi' or sometimes merely as 'Janmashtami'.

  • The festival falls on mid August to September.
  • The main ritual of the festival is to fast the previous day i.e. Saptami and a night long watch commemorating the birth of Krishna at night and his immediate removal by his father Vasudeva to ensure a safe life and secure life from the shackles of the demon Kangsa.
  • Thus at the midnight the idol of the infant Krishna called Gopal is bathed with gangajal, ghee, honey and curd and then the idol is placed in a cradle and worshipped. The fast is completed after aarti and worshipping Gopal ji.
  • Lots of devotional songs called bhajans are sung, hymn chanting and poojas are performed this day. Devotees queue at the Krishna temples to seek his blessings. People perform pujas with full devotion during this festival. Functions and prayer meetings are organized where the stories of Lord Krishna are read and heard and shared the glory of their favorite God.
  • Then on Janmashtami bhog containing fruits, kheer, milk, sweets, a total of 56 dishes called chappan bhog are offered to the deity.
  • In some parts of the Northern India this festival is celebrated for 3 days. On the 2nd day of the festival a ceremony known as 'Dahi Handi' takes place. In this ceremony a pot containing curd or butter or milk is hanged high, youths of locality make human towers and break the Handi. This is the festival of tying pots of yogurt and milk and breaking them and this is a special event in Mumbai and Maharashtra.