Krishna Janmashtami is observed as the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. Krishna Janmashtami is also known as Gokulashtami, Shrikrishna Jayanti and just Janmashtami. In Gujarat, Krishna Janmashtami is also known as Satam Atham and in South India especially in Kerala Krishna Janmashtami is observed as Ashtami Rohini. Janmashtami is the annual celebration of the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna and it is celebrated throughout India. Janmashtami also celebrated in Schools.
The main deity which is worshipped during Janmashtami is Lord Krishna. As Janmashtami is the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, the toddler form of Lord Krishna, which are known as Bal Gopal and Laddu Gopal, are worshipped on the day of Krishna Janmashtami.
Apart from young Lord Krishna, the biological parents of Lord Krishna i.e. Vasudeva and Devaki, the foster parents of Lord Krishna i.e. Nanda and Yashoda and the siblings of Lord Krishna i.e. Balabhadra (Lord Balarama) and Subhadra are also worshipped during Janmashtami Puja.
Celebrations of Krishna Janmashtami
The birth of Lord Krishna (a re-incarnation of Lord Vishnu) is celebrated on the eighth day of a lunar fortnight in August-September, hence the name Janmashtami (birth + eighth day). Lord Krishna was said to be a mischievous child who loved milk, butter, and ghee, and so women fast and make milk based sweets of all kinds and offer it to the Lord. They also visit temples or set up prayer rooms at home and pray to Lord Krishna.
One custom of Janmashtami is Dahi Handi. This is celebrated with enormous zeal and enthusiasm. A clay pot filled with buttermilk is hung very high above the ground. A human pyramid of men, who have trained for weeks prior to this event, then attempts to reach the height of the pot. The topmost person on the human pyramid attempts to break the handi by hitting it with a blunt object. When that happens, coconut water or buttermilk is spilled over the entire group, symbolizing their achievement through unity. Handis are set up around the city, and groups "Govinda Pathaks", travel around in trucks trying to break as many handis as possible during the day in order to reap the rich rewards that come with successfully breaking the highest handis!
1.A day-long fast
2.Worshipping Bal Krishna during a midnight
3.Visiting Krishna temple
4. Cooking sweet dishes specially made of milk product.
Janmashtami Festivals List
At most places, Janmashtami celebrations last for 2 days.
Day 1 – Krishna Janmashtami
Day 2 – Dahi Handi
Where: Most Popular
Celebrated by the Hindu community all over, but the festivities at Mathura and Vrindavan are very popular.
The Janmashtami puja and festivities in the temples and the jhaankis of Lord Krishna. Janmashtami celebrations in Mathura and Vrindavan are very popular. People fast throughout the day and break it with a special meal after dusk. Visiting temples, praying, dancing, and singing bhajans (hymns) at midnight is a part of the celebrations of the birth of Lord Krishna. Often, small children dress up as Lord Krishna on this day. Images and picturization of Krishna’s life story are depicted in the “jhankis” in temples.
Janmashtami Public Life
Krishna Janmashtami is an optional gazetted holiday in India. However, most government offices, schools and colleges keep one day off during Krishna Janmashtami.
Dahi Handi is a famous sportive event organized in the cities of Maharashtra and Goa. Dahi Handi is celebrated on the next day of Krishna Janmashtami. Krishna Janmashtami is also famous as Gokulashtami. Dahi translates to the curd and Handi translates to the earthen pot used to process and keep the milk products. Dahi Handi celebration is also known as Gopalakala in Maharashtra.
Dahi Handi celebration commemorates the way of living of Lord Krishna. In His childhood, young Krishna was very fond of the curd and the butter. While growing up the fondness of curd and the butter increased and young Krishna became notorious for stealing it. With time the whole event has its own slogan "Govinda Aala Re!"