Krishna Janmastami is also known as Janmastami or Gokulastami is an annual Hindu festival Celebrates the birth of Krishna.
Lord Krishna was the son of Devaki and Vasudeva and his birthday is celebrated by Hindus as Janmashtami on Tuesday, 18th August, 2022 particularly those of the Vaishnavism tradition as he is considered the eighth avatar of Vishnu.
Janmashtami is celebrated when Krishna is believed to have been born according to Hindu tradition, which is in Mathura, at midnight on the eighth day of Bhadrapadamonth (overlaps with August and 11th September in the Hindu calendar)
Hindus celebrate Janmashtami by fasting, singing, praying together, preparing and sharing special food, night vigils and visiting Krishna or Vishnu temples. Major Krishna temples organize recitation of Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita.Many communities organize dance-drama events called Rasa Lila or Krishna Lila.The tradition of Rasa Lila is particularly popular in Mathura region, in northeastern states of India such as Manipur and Assam, and in parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat. It is acted out by numerous teams of amateur artists, cheered on by their local communities, and these drama-dance plays begin a few days before each Janmashtami.
Gokulashtami or Gokula Ashtami (Janmashtami or Sri Krishna Jayanti) celebrates the birthday of Krishna. Gokulashtami is celebrated with great fervor in South India.
In Tamil Nadu, the people decorate the floor with kolams (decorative pattern drawn with rice batter). Geetha Govindam and other such devotional songs are sung in praise of Krishna. Then they draw the footprints of Krishna from the threshold of the house till the pooja room, which depicts the arrival of Krishna into the house.[A recitation of Bhagwadgita is also a popular practise. The offerings made to Krishna include fruits, betel and butter. Savories believed to be Krishna’s favorites are prepared with great care. The most important of them are Seedai, Sweet Seedai, Verkadalai Urundai. The festival is celebrated in the evening as Krishna was born at midnight. Most people observe a strict fast on this day and eat only after the midnight puja. They also dress the youngest of male child in their family like Krishna and perform oonjal, or swing, which is rocked gently and prasadam offered first to them.
In Andhra Pradesh, recitation of shlokas and devotional songs are the characteristics of this festival. Another unique feature of this festival is that young boys are dress up as Krishna and they visit neighbors and friends. Different varieties of fruits and sweets are first offered to Krishna and after the puja, these sweets are distributed among the visitors. The people of Andhra Pradesh observe a fast too.Various kinds of sweets are made to offer Gokulnandan on this day. Eatables along with milk and curd are prepared to make offerings to Krishna. Joyful chanting of ‘s name takes place in quite a few temples of the state. The number of temples dedicated to Krishna are few. The reason being that people have taken to worship him through paintings and not idols.
Popular south Indian temples dedicated for Krishna are Rajagopalaswami Temple in Mannargudi in the Tiruvarur district, Pandavadhoothar temple in Kanchivaram, Sri Krishna temple at Udupi, and the Krishna temple at Guruvayur are dedicated to the memory of Vishnu’s incarnation as Krishna. Legend says that the Sree Krishna Idol installed in Guruvayur is from Dwarka which is believed to be submerged in the sea.
Janmashtami is the largest festival in the Braj region of north India, in cities such as Mathura where Hindu tradition states Krishna was born, and in Vrindavan where he grew up.Vaishnava communities in these cities in Uttar Pradesh, as well as others in the state, as well locations in Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himalayan north celebrate Janmashtami. Krishna temples are decorated and lighted up, they attract numerous visitors on the day, while Krishna devotees hold bhakti events and keep night vigil.
The festival typically falls as the monsoons in north India have begun retreating, fields laden with crops and rural communities have time to play. In the northern states, Janmashtami is celebrated with the Raslila tradition, which literally means “play (lila) of delight, essence (rasa)”. This is expressed as solo or group dance and drama events at Janmashtami, wherein Krishna related compositions are sung, music accompanies the performance, while actors and audience share and celebrate the performance by clapping hands to mark the beat.The childhood pranks of Krishna, and love affairs of Radha-Krishna are particularly popular. According to Christian Roy and other scholars, these Radha-Krishna love stories are Hindu symbolism for the longing and love of human soul for the divine principle and reality it calls Brahman.
In Jammu, kite flying from roof tops is a part of the celebration on Krishna Janmashtami.
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