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Janmashtami 2024 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 2024 will be celebrated on 26th August.

Quick Info

Other Names

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

Janmashtami Timings (Mahurat)

11:58 PM of August 26 to 12:44 AM on August 27

Day and Date

Monday, 26th August

Birthplace and Upbringing Place

Mathura and Vrindavan

Observances

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 2024 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 2024 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 2024

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’s Day Mon 01-Jan Restricted Holiday
Lohri Sat 13-Jan Restricted Holiday
Makar Sankranti Sun 14-Jan Restricted Holiday
Pongal Mon 15-Jan Restricted Holiday
Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti Wed 17-Jan Restricted Holiday
Republic Day Fri 26-Jan Gazetted Holiday
Losar Sat 10-Feb Restricted Holiday
Basant Panchmi Wed 14-Feb Restricted Holiday
Guru Ravidas Jayanti Sat 24-Feb Gazetted Holiday
Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti Wed 6-Mar Restricted Holiday
Mahashivratri Fri 8-Mar Gazetted Holiday
Holi Mon 25-March Gazetted Holiday
Good Friday Fri 29-Mar Gazetted Holiday
Easter Day Sun 31-Mar Restricted Holiday
Gudi Padwa Tue 9-Apr Restricted Holiday
Eid-ul-Fitr Wed 10-Apr Gazetted Holiday
Vaisakhi (Vishu) Sat 13-Apr Restricted Holiday
Rama Navami Wed 17-Apr Gazetted Holiday
Mahavir Jayanti Sun 21-Apr Gazetted Holiday
Rabindra Jayanti Wed 8-May Restricted Holiday
Buddha Purnima (Vesak) Thu 23-May Gazetted Holiday
Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid) Mon 17-Jun Restricted Holiday
Rath Yatra Sun 7-Jul Gazetted Holiday
Muharram (Ashura) Wed 17-Jul Gazetted Holiday
Independence Day Thu 15-Aug Gazetted Holiday
Parsi New Year’s Day (Nauraz) Thu 15-Aug Public Holiday
Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi) Mon 19-Aug Restricted Holiday
Janmashtami Mon 26-Aug Restricted Holiday
Ganesh Chaturthi Sat 7-Sep Restricted Holiday
Onam Sun 15-Sep Restricted Holiday
Milad-un-Nabi or Id-e- Milad Mon 16-Sep Gazetted Holiday
Gandhi Jayanti Wed 02-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Dussehra Sat 12-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Valmiki Jayanti Thu 17-Oct Restricted Holiday
Karva Chauth Sun 20-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Dhanteras Tue 29-Oct Restricted Holiday
Kali Puja Thu 31-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Halloween Day Thu 31-Oct No Holiday
Diwali Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Lakshmi Puja Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Karnataka Rajyotsava Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Kerala Piravi Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Govardhan Puja Sat 2-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Bhai Dooj Sun 3-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Chhath Puja Thu 7-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Guru Nanak Jayanti Fri 15-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Christmas Wed 25-Dec Public Holiday

FAQ

Q. When is Krishna Janmashtami 2024?

A. The Janmashtami 2024 date is 26 August, Monday.

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 2024?

A. According to the Hindu calendar the Nishita Puja Time is from 11:58 PM of August 26 to 12:44 AM of August 27, 2024. 

Q. Where is the birthplace of Krishna?

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

Q. When is Janmashtami 2024?

A. Janmashtami will be celebrated on 26th August 2024. 

Q. What was the Mathura Janmashtami 2023 date?

A. Janmashtami was celebrated on 6th and 7th September in Mathura in 2023.

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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