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Krishna Janmashtami

Date: 25th August, 2016

Krishna Janmashtami, a well-known Hindu festival is also known as Gokulashtami, Saatam Aatham, Srikrishna Jayanti, Ashtami Rohini, and Krishnashtami. Sri Krishna devotees commemorate the festival all across world with great vigor and ebullience. The pious festivity falls on the eighth day of Hindu month Savan and celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. As per Gregorian calendar, the festivity falls in the months of August and September. The devotees of Shri Krishna keep fast, chant holy mantras, and perform Puja at midnight to rejoice the birth of the deity.

Krishna Janmashtami Legends

Kansa
As per Hindu mythological tales, Kansa was a discourteous and powerful king of Mathura. His father Ugrasen had selected Vasudev as a groom for his daughter (Kansa’s sister). Kansa arranged an extravagant wedding function. When the newly married couple was riding on a chariot, a divine voice declared that the eighth son of Devki would kill Kansa. After hearing this prophesy, Kansa sent newly wedded in a jail.

Along with his sister and husband, cruel Kansa imprisoned his own father and became the ruler of Mathura. Kansa killed seven newborns of Devki and when she gave birth to her eighth child and a heavenly voice said to Vasudev to take his child to Gokul and exchange it with the girl child of Yashoda and Nanda.

Birth of Shri Krishna
When Devki gave birth to her eighth child, the prison gate opened astonishingly and Vasudev with his eighth child stepped out of the jail. In the midnight, he carried his son in a basket and traveled in a bad weather. It was raining heavily and suddenly a snake with 2000 hoods emerged and acted as a shielding awning for the divine child. When Kansa heard the news of Devki’s eighth child, he came to kill the newborn. Suddenly the child appeared as a Goddess and she told Kansa that Devki’s eighth child is safe and growing in Mathura. This is how the birth of Lord Krishna took place and every year the birth of Krishna is celebrated as Krishnashtami or Janmashtami.

Janmashtami Rituals
The birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated all across globe with a great feeling of love, reverence, and elation. The initial two days are rejoiced vibrantly and merriment touches the zenith when Lord Krishna took birth at midnight. Devotees to welcome the God with high spirits sing devotional songs. On Janmashtami, Raaslilas are also performed at various places that depict the various facets of Lord Krishna’s life in a dramatic way.

The well-known ceremony of ‘Dahi Handi’ takes place on the second day of celebration. The process of breaking ‘Dahi Handi’ is very exhilarating and this ceremony is organized in several parts of Mumbai. Various types of lip smacking sweets are prepared and after performing Puja, these sweets are distributed among friends and family as Prasad.