Krishna Janmashtami – an annual Hindu festival to celebrate birth of Shri Krishna!

Krishna Janmashtami or Gokulashtami is a well-known annual Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Shri Krishna who is the 8th avatar or incarnation of supreme almighty god Vishnu on the earth. The birth of Krishna in Mathura has celebrated on the Ashtami (Eight Tithi) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in Bhadrapada month as per Hindu calendar. As per Gregorian calendar, it is celebrated in August or September month. It is celebrated in India as well as overseas with great fervour. But it is mainly celebrated in Mathura and Vrindavan in traditional way as Mathura is God Krishna’s birthplace and Vrindavan is place of Krishna’s childhood upbringing and spent his growing years.

Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervour following with enacting Rasa Lila or Krishna Lila by traditional groups (Shri Krishna Leela Troup), devotional singing, fasting (vrat or upavasa), night vigil (Ratri Jagran). It is followed by performing Krishna’s Birth, bathing and new clothes offering to idol of Krishna in midnight as per muhurat, date and time. Furthermore, it is followed by aarti, offering Chhappan Bhog sweets, Chhappan Bhog, Panchamrut or Charnamrut, and Panjari to Krishna’s idol. After this distribution of prasad, Chhappan Bhog, Panchamrut or Charnamrut, and Panjari amongst devotees. Finally, people break their fast and enjoy the delicious traditional dishes and cuisines.

This is an important festival for the Vaishnav who practice Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism. It is celebrated in Manipur, Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and all the other states of India And also in Umarkot, Tharparker, Mirpurkhas All over Sindh Pakistan by major Vaishnava and non-sectarian communities.

Krishna Janmashtami’s celebration is also observed as Nandotsava due to history of foster father Nanda who distributed gifts to the community in honour of the Krishna’s birth.

Krishna Janmashtami Celebration Date, Time and Muhurat:

Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated on the Ashtami (Eight Tithi) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in Bhadrapada month as per Hindu calendar and it is observed in August or September as per Gregorian Calendar.

Krishna Janmashtami Date and Time (Celebration Muhurat) in 2022:

In 2022, there is confusion to celebration of Krishna Janmashtami as it should be celebrated either on 18th August or 19th August 2022.  

As per the Vedic Panchang, Ashtami Tithi (Eight Tithi) will begin from 9:21 pm on August 18 and will end at 10:59 pm on August 19, 2022 therefore it will be celebrated on both days.

Krishna Janmashtami’s History, Legends and Significance:

As per Hindu legends and sanatan history, Krishna is the 8th avatar or incarnation of supreme almighty God Vishnu, was born on this day (Ashtami of Krishna Paksha called Krishna Janmashtami) to kill Mathura’s demon king, Kansa, the brother of Krishna’s mother, Devaki. Krishna was born on the eighth (Ashtami) day of the dark fortnight in the Bhadrapada month (August–September) in Mathura as the son of Devaki and Vasudeva Anakadundubhi.

Krishna was born in Mathura city where was anarchy and atrocities. It was a time when harassment was widespread, freedoms were denied, evil activities was everywhere, and when there was a threat to Krishna’s life by his uncle King Kansa. When Krishna was born, Mathura was governed by his maternal uncle, King Kansa, who wanted to kill his sister’s children as a forecast revealed that the Devaki and Vasudeva’s eighth son would cause Kansa’s ruin and death. After the forecast, Kansa imprisoned Devaki and Vasudeva and killed off their first six children.

Furthermore, at the time of the birth of their 7th child, Balram, the foetus mystically moved from Devaki’s womb to Princess Rohini’s womb. Balram was the avatar of serpent Sheshanaag who was also incarnated on earth as Krishna’s older brother who was the son of Rohini, Vasudeva’s first wife.

When their 8th child, Krishna, was born, the whole palace went into slumber. After the Krishna’s birth at Mathura, his father Vasudeva took Krishna across the Yamuna, to foster parents in Gokula, named Nanda and Yashoda who were Vasudeva’s brother and sister-in-law.

After making the exchange Krishna with new born baby girl in Nanda and Yashoda’s house, Vasudeva returned to the palace with a baby girl and handed her to Kansa. When the demon king tried to kill the baby, she converted into Durga, warning him about his upcoming death by Krishna. After this, Krishna spent his growing years in Vrindavan and later killed his uncle, Kansa.

Following this legend, Janmashtami is celebrated by people keeping fast (Vrat), singing devotional songs of love for Krishna, and keeping a vigil into the night (Raatri Jaagran).

Krishna Janmashtami’s Celebration:

As per legend and its significance, it is observed that people are celebrated it by keeping fast, singing Krishna related devotional bhajan and song, do Raatri Jaagran (Night Vigil), enact Krishna’s Raas Leela and visiting Krishna or Vishnu temples.  Many holy Krishna temples organize recitation of Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita during this auspicious holy day.

People adorn their homes with flowers, diyas and lights while temples are also beautifully decorated and lit.

Krinshna’s birth, bathing, clothing and worship:

Following the Krishna’s midnight hour birth, forms of baby Krishna are bathed and clothed, then placed in a cradle. The devotees perform Aarti and offer all available eatable as Panchamrut, Panjari, Gud Laddoo, Sweets and Chhappan Bhog. Afterward, all devotees break their fast, by sharing food and sweets.

Krishna Janmashtami’s rituals and events:

In many regions, pious women draw tiny footprints outside their house doors and kitchen, walking towards their house, a symbolism for Krishna’s welcome into their houses.

On this day, all devotees chant “Hare Krishna hare Krishna, Krishna- Krishna Hare Hare” to please lord Krishna.

Devotees perform Raslila to reconstruct happenings from Krishna’s life and to commemorate his love for Radha. In Northern India, a numerous communities organize dance-drama related traditional events called Rasa Lila or Krishna Lila. The practice of Rasa Lila is mainly popular in the Mathura region, in north-eastern states of India such as Manipur and Assam, and in parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat. It is performed by several teams of amateur artists, cheered on by their local communities. Generally, these drama-dance plays or Rasa Lila start a few days before each Janmashtami.

Dahi Handi:

Generally, Dahi Handi is celebrated the next day of Krishna’s birthday. Maharashtra and other regions observe festive celebrations of Janmashtami as people enact Krishna’s childhood endeavours and mischievous acts to steal butter and curd from earthen pots. This activity is called the Dahi Handi celebration in which a curd, yogurt and flower filled matka or pot is hanged high above the ground, sometimes with tall poles or from ropes hanging from the second or third level of a building. As per annual tradition, teams of youth and boys called the “Govindas” go around to these hanging pots, climb one over another and form a human pyramid, then break the pot by a coconut.

As per legend, the event Dahi Handi gets this popular regional name from the legend of baby Krishna. According to it, Krishna would seek and steal milk products such as yogurt and butter and people would hide their supplies high up out of the baby’s reach. Krishna would try all sorts of creative ideas in his pursuit, such as making human pyramids with his friends to break these high hanging pots. All girls surround these boys, cheer and tease them while dancing and singing. The spilled pot contents are considered as Prasada (celebratory offering).

In recent times, numerous Indian cities and towns celebrate this annual Hindu festival. Youth groups form Govinda pathaks, which contest with each other, specifically for prize money on Janamashtami. These groups are called mandals or handis and they go around the local areas, trying to break as many pots as possible. Celebs and media attend the celebrations and cash and gifts are offered for Govinda teams. is wishing you all HAPPY KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI! It may bring you a lot of prosperity and happiness with good health.

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