Krishna Janmashtami – One of the most beloved festivals in India

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    “Occasion of Krishna’s birth,” also known as Janmashtami or Gokulashtami. This is an annual Hindu festival commemorating the birth of Krishna, Vishnu’s eighth avatar.

    Tithi for Janmashtami

    It is observed on the eighth tithi (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha  in Bhadrapada Masa, according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar. It is a significant festival, particularly in the Hindu Vaishnavism tradition.

    Celebration

    Emninent Krishna temples host recitations of the Bhagavata Purana and the Bhagavad Gita. Rasa Lila or Krishna Lila events are held in many northern Indian communities. Rasa Lila is a popular tradition in the Mathura region, as well as in northeastern Indian states such as Manipur and Assam, and in parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat. It is performed by numerous teams of amateur artists, who are supported by their local communities, and these drama-dance plays begin a few days before Janmashtami. Janmashtami is followed by Dahi Handi, which is celebrated the following day in the north.

    Festivities in Odisha and West Bengal

    The festival is also known as Sri Krishna Jayanti or simply Sri Jayanti in the eastern state of Odisha, specifically the region around Puri and in Nabadwip, West Bengal. Janmashtami is observed by fasting and worship until midnight. The Bhagavata Purana is read from the 10th chapter, which is about Krishna’s life. The following day is known as “Nanda Ucchhaba,” or “Joyful Celebration of Krishna’s Foster Parents Nanda and Yashoda.” Devotees fast for the entire day of Janmashtami. During their abhisheka ceremony, they bring Ganga water to bathe Radha Madhaba. At midnight, a grand abhisheka is performed for the small Radha Madhava.

    By Subhechcha Ganguly