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Janamashtami-The Birth of Lord Krishna


The word Janamashtami is an amalgamation of two words Janam + Ashtami, which literally means the birth of Lord Krishna on the eighth day of Bhadon month of the Hindu calendar. Also popularized as Krishna Janamashtami, it is one of the most famous Hindu festivals. This festival is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm all over the world. It is all about completely immersing oneself in the thoughts of Lord Krishna in a festive way.

Janamashtami-The Birth Anniversary of Lord Krishna

Legends associated with the festival:

Born in Mathura, Lord Krishna was the eighth son of Devi Devaki and King Vasudev. He is believed to be the eighth and one of the most powerful human incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The actual celebrations for the festival of Janamashtami take place at midnight as it is believed that Lord Krishna made his divine appearance during that hour. Also, it is believed that Lord Krishna was born on a dark, stormy and windy night to set free the Earth from the evilness of demons and to end the rule & violence of his uncle, Kansa.

Lord Krishna’s life is associated with several tales of love, friendship and a mischievous & adorable childhood. Lord Krishna was a naughty child famous for stealing “Maakhan” (butter) from the houses of Mathura. He also used to play with the girls (gopiyan) in the villages of Mathura & Vrindavan.

dahi handi at janmashtami

On the auspicious occasion of his birth anniversary, temples across the world are flooded with devotees from near and far to celebrate the birth of Shri Krishna-Nandlala. Besides this, people witness extravagant and colourful celebrations especially in the temples of Mathura and Vrindavan.

Places to visit on Janamashtami:

Mathura, Vrindavan and Dwarka are the best places to visit on this sacred occasion, as these religious places are related to Lord Krishna and here the traditional celebrations of this festival are held with great pomp and show. The Janamashtami festivities include programmes like Raasleelas, local plays, dramas, etc. that mark the onset of festivities., Lord Krishna was the eighth son of Devi Devaki and King Vasudev.

Janamashtami is famous for the Dahi Handi ceremony in Maharashtra to celebrate Lord Krishna’s playful and mischievous side. At this ceremony, teams of young men form a human pyramid to reach a high-hanging pot of butter or curd and break it to symbolize Lord Krishna’s childhood games. This ceremony is based on the legends about Krishna stealing makhan (butter) or dahi (curd) from handi (pot).

When is Janamashtami in 2014?

Every year, the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna is celebrated on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the month of Bhadrapada or Bhadon (August-September) of the Hindu calendar across most parts of the world. This year, Janamashtami will be celebrated on Monday, 18th August.
Krishna jhula

So, on this special occasion, to feel more connected to Lord Shri Krishna, you may consider the following tips to celebrate Janamashtami:  

  • Tell legends associated with the celebration of Krishna Janamashtami to your children.
  • Invite your relatives and friends at your home to participate in the festivities.
  • Involve your children in the preparations of the midnight kirtan and aarti.
  • Encourage them to decorate the house by making flower garlands, festoons of leaves and hanging balloons.
  • Motivate your children to buy or make jewellery, clothes, garlands, peacock feathers, turban pieces, flutes etc. for Lord Shri Krishna’s idol.
  • Perform the aarti with your children and rock the cradle in which Lord Krishna’s idol is kept.
  • Teach your children famous Krishna bhajans like ‘Yashomati maiya se bole nandlala radha kyun gori main kyun kala’, ‘Haathi ghoda palki, jai kanahiya lal ki’ etc..
  • Organise a role-play & fancy dress competition in your neighbourhood based on the festival of Janamashtami.

So, celebrate the auspicious occasion of Lord Krishna’s birth with your children and help them to understand the significance of celebrating this festival.



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