Also known as Krishna Janmashtami, this day is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Lord Krishna. According to the legends, the eighth son of Devki, Lord Krishna was born on the 8th day of the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada (August-September).
In 2019, Janmashtami will be celebrated on 24th August.
Background of Janmashtami
According to the Hindu texts, Lord Krishna came into this world as the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu and destroyer of the evil on this day.
Ancient Hindu literature, including Bhagawad Gita and Bhagwata Purana, clearly state the story of Lord Krishna’s birth and how his maternal-uncle, King Kansa wanted to kill him. And ever since his birth, every 8th day of the month of Bhadrapada is celebrated as Krishna Janmashtami.
Also, many people treat this day as an occasion to honour the victory of good over evil.
Janmashtami Celebrations across India
On this day, Hindu temples organize recitations of verses from the holy books, Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita. City of Mathura and Vrindavan observe special festivities on this day as they are known to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Devotees keep fast until midnight which is considered as the hour of Krishna’s birth.
Past midnight, the idols of Lord Krishna are bathed in milk, dressed in new clothes and worshipped. Many communities throughout the globe organize dance-drama events which are known as Krishna Lila or Rasa Lila.
In Maharashtra, this day is observed as ‘Dahi-Handi’ which includes organizing competitions for breaking a high-hung, earthen pot filled with yoghurt. Youths form groups known as ‘Govinda Pathaks’ for competing with each other by forming human pyramids for reaching the high-hung pot and breaking it as Krishna used to do during his notorious childhood. Cash prizes and gifts are then awarded to the winning team.
Gujarat which is known as the place where Lord Krishna laid down his kingdom, celebrates this day as ‘Makhan Handi’ which translates to ‘an earthen pot filled with butter’ in English.
Best Places to Observe Janmashtami Celebrations in India
- Uttar Pradesh