Sri Krishna Jayanthi 06-Sep-2023
Sri Krishna Jayanthi, also known as Krishna Janmashtami or simply Janmashtami, is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, who is considered one of the most revered and beloved deities in Hinduism. The festival is observed on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the month of Bhadrapada, which falls between August and September in the Gregorian calendar.
Lord Krishna’s birth is believed to have taken place in Mathura, an ancient city in present-day Uttar Pradesh, India. His life and teachings are widely documented in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, particularly in the Bhagavad Gita, a spiritual and philosophical discourse between Krishna and the warrior Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
Janmashtami is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion across India and among Hindu communities around the world. The festivities usually involve:
- Fasting: Devotees often observe a day-long fast until midnight, the time believed to be when Lord Krishna was born. They break their fast after performing the midnight puja (ritual worship).
- Puja and Worship: Special prayers, pujas (ritual worship), and devotional songs are offered to Lord Krishna. His idols are adorned with new clothes, jewelry, and flowers. The deity is bathed with various auspicious substances like milk and curd.
- Cultural Events: In many places, plays and skits depicting incidents from Krishna’s life are performed, especially the Raslila (dance-drama depicting Krishna’s interactions with the gopis, or cowherd women).
- Dahi Handi: This tradition involves forming a human pyramid to reach and break a pot filled with curd, which is suspended at a height. It symbolizes the playful and mischievous nature of Krishna, who was known for stealing butter.
- Devotional Singing and Dancing: Devotees engage in bhajans (devotional songs) and kirtans (singing the glories of Krishna) throughout the day and night.
- Feasting: After the midnight puja, the fasting is broken, and a variety of delicious dishes are prepared and shared among family and friends.
The celebration of Janmashtami varies in different regions of India and among different communities, but the central theme remains the devotion and celebration of Lord Krishna’s life and teachings.