Krishna Janmashtami is also known as Gokulashtami is the annual Hindu festival which falls on the eighth day of Krishna Paksha in months of August and September. It is an annual festival marking the birth of the eighth avatar of Lord Vishu, Shri Krishna.
Janmashtami is celebrated almost in all parts of India. It is followed by the celebration of Nandostav. At midnight the birth of Krishna is celebrated with music, dance, and enchantments. The famous Rasa Lila or Krishna Lila is performed. Mathura and Vrindavan are famous for the celebration of Janmashtami.
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History and Significance of Janmashtami
The birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated as Janmashtami. Krishna is the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudev. He was believed to be born to free the people of Mathura from the tyrant King Kansa.
Even before the birth of Krishna, the prediction had been made that the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudev will kill Kansa. Kansa was scared and so he started killing all the babies of Devaki. He didn’t let anyone survive even for a day. No one knew how Krishna was going to be born and survive.
On the day, Krishna was destined to born, the doors of the jail where Devaki and his husband were held captive magically opened and then Vasudev took Krishna across the Yamuna to his foster parents in Gokul, Nanda, and Yashoda.
Later when Krishna became an adult he came back Mathura and freed the people by killing Kansa.
How to celebrate Janmashtami?
People visit Krishna or Vishnu temple on the day before Krishna Janmashtami and keep fast until midnight. The devotees sing, pray and dance to the rhymes of Bhagavata Gita.
Dahi Handi has conducted in various parts of India on the day after Janmashtami. In this earthen pots with yogurt are hung at large heights and the people have to break it by making pyramids and climbing on top of each other. After breaking the pot, the yogurt is eaten as Prasada.
Another form of Dahi handi, called Makhan handi is also celebrated. Various competitions with huge prize money are conducted.
Many dramas depicting the childhood pranks and love affairs of Lord Krishna is performed for people to enjoy. People also draw the footprints of Krishna from the threshold of the house till puja room, marking the arrival of Krishna into their houses.
I hope you got an overall idea about Krishna Janmashtami, how to celebrate it and places you can visit to see Janmashtami celebrations.