Janmashtami is a Hindu holiday that celebrates the birth of Krishna, the eighth form of Vishnu. It is also called Krishna Janmashtami, Gokulashtami, Krishnasthami, and Srijayanti. The most important events of this festival take place in Mathura and Vrindavan, which are thought to be where Krishna was born and raised.
When and where:
Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated in India on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada (July-August). This year, nobody knows for sure if Krishna Janmashtami will be on Thursday, August 18, or Friday, August 19, 2022.
On August 18, Nishith Puja starts at 12:02 a.m. and ends at 12:48 p.m. Ashtami Tithi runs from August 18 at 9:21 p.m. through August 19 at 10:59 p.m. Because of this, Nishith Puja will be done on both August 18 and August 19, 2022.
History and why it’s important:
Hindu legend says that Vishnu took the form of Krishna on this day so that he could defeat Kansa, the evil brother of Krishna’s good mother Devaki, who was the ruler of Mathura. Krishna, the son of Devaki and Vasudeva, was born in Mathura on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the Bhadrapada month. This day is called Ashtami (August-September).
King Kansa was in charge of Mathura when Krishna was born. Kansa tried to kill his sister’s children because a prophecy said that their eighth child would be the one to kill Kansa. In response to the prophecy, Kansa put Devaki and Vasudeva in jail and killed their first six children.
But when their seventh child, Balram, was born, the foetus moved magically from Devaki’s womb to Princess Rohini’s. When they had their eighth child, Krishna, the whole palace fell asleep. Vasudeva woke up and saved the baby, taking him to Vrindavan to live with Nand Baba and Yashodha.
After the trade, Vasudeva came back to the palace with a baby girl and gave her to Kansa. Krishna was born and raised in Vrindavan. He killed his uncle Kansa there. When the cruel king tried to kill the baby, the mother turned into Durga and told him what was going to happen to him.
On this happy day, people who love Krishna fast and pray to him. They use flowers, diyas, and lights to decorate their homes, and they also light up and decorate the temples.
People think that Krishna was born and grew up in Mathura and Vrindavan, so that’s where the biggest and most colourful celebrations take place. Since Krishna was born at midnight, an idol of a baby Krishna is given a bath and put in a cradle at that time. Raslila is a performance where people act out parts of Krishna’s life and remember how much he loved Radha.
In Maharashtra, people also celebrate this holiday with joy by acting out Krishna’s early attempts to steal butter and curd from earthen pots. During the Dahi Handi ceremony, a matka or pot is put up in the air several feet, and the participants build a human pyramid to reach it and break it.