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Janmashtami 2023: History, Significance, Observance and Importance

Published Date: 09-Dec-2022

Janmashtami is a popular festival celebrated by Hindus all across the country. Also known as Shri Krishna Janmashtami and Gokulashtami, this day is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Lord Krishna. According to the legends, the eighth son of Devki, Lord Shri Krishna was born on the 8th day of the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada (August-September). Janmashtami 2023 will be celebrated on 6 and 7th September.

Quick Info

Other Names

Gokulashtami, Shree Jayanti, Saatam Aatham, Krishnashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Krishna Jayanthi, Shuvo Janmashtami

Janmashtami Timings (Mahurat)

3:37 pm on 6th September to 4:14 pm on 7th September

Day and Date

Wednesday and Thursday, 6th and 7th September

Birthplace and Upbringing Place

Mathura and Vrindavan


Pooja, Dancing, Singing, Fasting, Night Vigil

Janmashtami History and Significance

According to the Hindu texts, Shri Lord Krishna came into this world as the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu and the destroyer of evil on this day.

Ancient Hindu literature, including Bhagawad Gita and Bhagwata Purana, clearly states 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 called Krishnapaksha of the month of Bhadrapada is celebrated as Krishna Janmashtami. In order to protect lord Krishna, his father Vasudev carried him in a basket across the raging River Yamuna to Vrindavan. There, Krishna was adopted and brought up by Yashoda and Nanda. This year marks the 5250th birth anniversary of Lord Krishna.

Also, many people treat this day as an occasion to honour the victory of good over evil.

Janmashtami Rituals

People have various rituals to celebrate Janmashtami 2023 according to their beliefs. Some of the rituals are:

  • Celebrations at Temples: People visit temples nearby and in different cities as well to offer their prayers and seek blessings from Shri Lord Krishna. Do not miss out on the Janmashtami 2023 ISKCON celebrations. 
  • Fasting: People fast all day and read the Bhagwad Geeta.
  • Abhisheka: In a ritual cleansing termed abhisheka, the idols are also washed in a selection of auspicious milk.
  • Midnight Celebrations: At twelve o’clock at night, priests open the drapes to unveil Krishna’s freshly clothed deity on an artistically adorned and decorated shrine.
  • Decorations: People decorate flutes, clean homes, and temples as a part of Janmashtami decoration.

You May Also Like: Karva Chauth 2023

Why Celebration will be celebrated for two days

Janmashtami will be celebrated for two days as the Ashtami Tithi is going to start on September 6 at 03:37 PM and will end on September 7, 2023, at 04:14 PM. Rohini Nakshatra will start on September 6 at 09:20 AM and it will conclude on September 7 at 10:25 AM. So, considering both Ashtami Tithi and Rohini Nakshatra, Janmashtami will be celebrated on September 6, 2023, and the Dahi Handi celebration will be held on September 7, 2023.

Janmashtami Celebrations across India

The whole nation comes together to celebrate the birthday of Shri Lord Krishna with much fervour and enthusiasm. It is quite common to see kids dressed up as little Krishna, markets lined up with sweet shops and elegant handis, people preparing for the plays (also known as Ras Leela) and temples being decorated with flowers. People also involve in the Dahi Handi celebration by making human pyramids to break the handi of buttermilk. On this day, recitations of verses from the holy books, Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita, are also organised at Hindu shrines. Some even fast through the day. People wish each other by saying “Happy Krishna Janmashtami” and exchange sweets and blessings.

While celebrations throughout the country are mesmerising, some places in India deserve a special mention. It is at these destinations that you can get the true essence of Janmashtami celebrations. Let’s take a look at the different places where this festival finds a special place in the hearts of people.

1. Mathura

Janmashtami Celebration | Udupi

Janmashtami Celebration | Mathura

Mathura which happens to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna has some 400 temples dedicated to Him, all of which are decorated beautifully during this time. Chanting of shlokas, enactment of Raas Leela, fireworks, and jhulotsava are some common ways to welcome Krishna. Celebrations begin almost 10 days before the birthday.

Vrindavan: Vrindavan, which is near the Shri Krishna birthplace Mathura, enthusiastically observes the Krishna Janmashtami. In this enlightened city, Shri Lord Krishna spent his formative years. Ten days before the event, the city starts to celebrate. Temples are adorned with new flowers and lights.

Gokul: As soon as Lord Krishna was born in jail, Vasudeva brought him to Gokul. This is the reason why the celebration, which is observed one day after the primary holiday, is also known as Gokulashtami. On this day, worshippers sing hymns, recite mantras, blow shells, and ring bells. People do Janmashtami decorations at home with flowers.

Dwarka: Dwarka is a beautiful city and the home of Lord Krishna. After leaving Mathura, Lord Krishna is said to have stayed here for 5,000 years. The town holds a month-long ‘Janmashtami Utsav’ festival. Mangal aarti is done at temples all across the city.

2. Udupi, Karnataka

Janmashtami Celebration | Udupi

Janmashtami Celebration | Udupi

The southern region of India also gets into the festive mood during Janmashtami. Dance-drama events called Vittal Pindi (or Rass Leela) are performed by the locals in Udupi, Karnataka. Gopuras are erected, below which the chariot with the Lord’s idol moves across the city. Earthen pots filled with curd (or dahi handi) are hung on gopuras and later broken by sticks. Huli vesha dancers are also a huge attraction during the celebrations, besides local contests featuring people dressed up in ethnic costumes. Prasadam is distributed among the devotees and devotional songs are sung at temples.

3. Imphal, Manipur

Imphal, Manipur

Janmashtami Celebration | Imphal

Unlike the other festivals of North India that aren’t as famous in this part of the country, Janmashtami witnesses a huge crowd of devotees at Mahabali Temple Sri Govindjee Temple. People observe fast and visit the temple offering floral tribute to Lord Krishna. Folk dance performances are a major part of Janmashtami festivities in Manipur.

4. Mumbai-Pune, Maharashtra

Janmashtami Celebration | Mumbai-Pune

Janmashtami Celebration | Mumbai-Pune

In Maharashtra, this day is observed as Dahi-Handi and witnesses competitions for breaking a high-hung, earthen pot filled with yogurt, milk, water and fruits. Youths form groups, known as Govinda Pathaks, for competing with each other by forming a human pyramid for reaching the high-hung pot and breaking it as Krishna used to do in his notorious childhood. Gifts and cash prizes as large as Rs. 12 lahks are then awarded to the winning team.

5. Puri, Odisha

Janmashtami Celebration | Puri

Janmashtami Celebration | Puri

Famous for Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha has its own set of celebrations that are unique to the region. People observe fast till midnight which is considered as the hour of Krishna’s birth and chant “Hare Krishna” and “Hari Bol”. Religious songs are sung and verses from the Bhagavad Gita are recited at the temples, which are beautifully decorated for the special festivities. Several forms of sweets are cooked at home and distributed among everyone.

Places like Dwarka in Gujarat (the place where Lord Krishna laid down his kingdom) celebrate this day as Makhan Handi, which translates to ‘an earthen pot filled with butter’ in English. Apart from these, places like Assam and parts of Tamil Nadu also celebrate the festival with great zeal and gusto.

Other Festivals in India with Holiday Type

Festivals in India Day Date Holiday Type
New Year Sunday 1 January Public
Lohri Saturday 14 January Restricted
Makar Sankranti Saturday 14 January Restricted
Pongal Sunday 15 January Restricted
Basant Panchmi Thursday 26 January Restricted
Republic Day Thursday 26 January Public
Guru Ravidass Jayanti Sunday 5 February Restricted
Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti Wednesday 15 February Restricted
Mahashivratri Saturday 18 February Restricted
Losar Tuesday 21 February Restricted
Holi Wednesday 8 March Public
Ram Navami Thursday 30 March Restricted
Mahavir Jayanti Tuesday 4 April Restricted
Good Friday Friday 7 April Public
Easter Sunday 9 April Restricted
Vaisakhi Friday 14 April Restricted
Eid Ul Fitr Saturday 22 April Public
Buddha Purnima Friday 5 May Public
Rabindra Jayanti Tuesday 9 May Restricted
Rath Yatra Tuesday 20 June Restricted
Eid Al Adha Thursday 29 June Restricted
Muharram Saturday 29 July Public
Independence Day Tuesday 15 August Public
Parsi New Year Navroz Wednesday 16 August Restricted
Onam Tuesday 29 August Restricted
Raksha Bandhan Wednesday 30 August Restricted
Janmashtami Thursday 7 September Restricted
Ganesh Chaturthi Tuesday 19 September Restricted
Id E Milad Thursday 28 September Public
Gandhi Jayanti Monday 2 October Public
Shardiya Navratri Sunday 15 October No Holiday
Durga Puja Friday 20 October No Holiday
Dussehra Tuesday 24 October Public
Valmiki Jayanti Saturday 28 October Restricted
Halloween Day Tuesday 31 October No Holiday
Karva Chauth Tuesday 1 November Restricted
Karnataka Rajyotsava Tuesday 1 November Restricted
Kerala Piravi Tuesday 1 November Restricted
Ahoi Ashtami Sunday 5 November No Holiday
Dhanteras Saturday 11 November No Holiday
Diwali Sunday 12 November Public
Kali Puja Sunday 12 November No Holiday
Lakshmi Puja Sunday 12 November No Holiday
Govardhan Puja Monday 13 November Public
Bhai Dooj Tuesday 14 November Restricted
Chhath Puja Sunday 19 November Restricted
Guru Nanak Jayanti Monday 27 November Public
Kartik Purnima Monday 27 November No Holiday
Christmas Monday 25 December Public

Year-Wise Janmashtami Observances

YEAR DAY DATE Event/Festival
2015 Sat 5-Sep Janmashtami
2016 Thu 25-Aug Janmashtami
2017 Tue 15-Aug Janmashtami
2018 Mon 3-Sep Janmashtami
2019 Sat 24-Aug Janmashtami
2020 Wed 12-Aug Janmashtami
2021 Mon 30-Aug Janmashtami
2022 Fri 19-Aug Janmashtami
2023 Wed 6-Sep Janmashtami
2024 Mon 26-Aug Janmashtami
2025 Sat 16-Aug Janmashtami
2026 Sat 16-Aug Janmashtami
2027 Sat 16-Aug Janmashtami
2028 Sat 16-Aug Janmashtami
2029 Sat 16-Aug Janmashtami


Q. When is Krishna Janmashtami 2023?

A. The Janmashtami 2023 date is 6th September, Friday.

Q. Why do we celebrate Lord Krishna Janmashtami?

A. Krishna Janmashtami marks the birth of Lord Krishna, the eighth manifestation of the deity Vishnu. It is one of the most significant Hindu holidays.

Q. What is the timing of Janmashtami in 2023?

A. According to the Hindu calendar, the Bhadrapada month is starting on 06 September 2023 at 03.37 pm. Ashtami Tithi will end on 07 September 2023 at 04.14 pm.

Q. Where is the birthplace of Krishna?

A. The birthplace of Krishna is in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Q. When is Janmashtami 2023?

A. Janmashtami will be celebrated on 6th September 2023. 

Q. What was the Mathura Janmashtami 2022 date?

A. Janmashtami was celebrated on 18 Aug to 19 Aug in Mathura in 2022.

Sargun Preet Kaur
Sargun has an appetite for challenges and creative hurdles that can help her grow as she conquers them one by one. With an innate desire to travel the world, she weaves through life by visiting her dream destinations. When not in her creative zone, Sargun loves to smash in badminton and binge-watch her favourite shows.
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