Krishna Janmashtami

Krishna Janmashtami

On the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the month of Shravana (or in Bhadra) the anniversary of Krishna's birth- Janmashtami- is celebrated with prayers and rejoicing. Devotees on this occasion fast till night. Krishna Janmashtami is, though, celebrated across India but its most intense religious zeal can be seen and felt in Mathura and Vrinadavana. It was Mathura where Lord Krishna was born and in Vrindavana, Krishna spent his childhood. Krishna Janmashtami is also known as Shrijayanti, Gokulashtami, Krishna Ashtami, Krishna Jayanti and Janmashtami.

Krishna is one of the most popular of Hindus gods. The anniversary of his birth is celebrated at midnight because he was born at that hour. The devotees observe fast until midnight. In temples and homes, events of Krishna's life are enacted. The celebrations are most remarkable in and around Mathura where Krishna was born.

In Maharashtra, group of urchins go in procession breaking up post of curd (yogurt) hung up in the streets, as the child Krishna is believed to have done. A similar ceremony is observed in south India. A pole smeared with oil is set up and an earthen pot containing money and silk is tied to its top. Boys dressed as Krishna try to climb the pole and win the prize while spectators squirt water at them. Janmashtami is celebrated in the month of August/ September.

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