Janmashtami Celebrations, Janmashtami Customs, Janmashtami In Vrindavan

    Janmashtami Celebrations

    Janmashtami Celebrations

    Janmashtami festival is celebrated with great zeal by Hindus all over India. The festival, which falls on the eighth day (Ashtami) of Savan month, marks the birth of Lord Krishna, one of the favorite deities of Hindus. Lord Krishna was born under extraordinary circumstances on the day. People enjoy in the merrymaking at the midnight of ashtami, by singing devotional songs and dancing to the tune of bhajans. Apart from honoring the day with a special puja, people relish on lip smacking delicacies that are prepared especially for the festival. Cultural programs are also part of the celebrations. Go through the following lines to know more about the celebrations of Janmashtami.

    Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations
    Janmashtami is a two-day celebration in many parts of India. The first two days are celebrated colorfully and the merrymaking reaches its peak at midnight of the first day, when Lord Krishna was born. To mark the birth of the deity, the idol of the infant Krishna is bathed and is cradled in the midnight time. Conch shell is blown and the devotees celebrate the birth of the Lord Krishna by singing devotional songs and by dancing with great joy. Thereafter, mouthwatering sweets and dishes are served to the devotees.

    Lord Krishna temples situated at Vrindhavan, Mathura, Dwaraka are the most popular for the celebrations of Janmashtami, as it is believed that Lord Krishna lived there. In some part of the North India, Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated for three days. The first two days are celebrated in a colorful manner. Dance drama, known as Raslila, is performed. Incidents from Sri Krishna's life, especially his childhood, are depicted in the drama. On the second day of the festival, a popular ceremony known as 'Dahi Handi' takes place wherein the pot containing curd or butter or milk is broken by the youth.

    The ritual of Dahi Handi is carried out with religious observance, in the northern parts of India. Maharashtra is especially popular for the ritual, wherein human pyramid tries to break the Handi (earthen pot filled with buttermilk) that is suspended from top, with the help of a rope. Onlookers throw water on the pyramid of boys in order to stop them from reaching the earthen pot. The process involves a lot of excitement. During Janmashtami, every other street of Mumbai organizes the Dahi Handi, as a part of the celebrations of the festival.

    Various kinds of sweets are prepared to offer Lord Krishna on Janmashtami. Murukku and Vella Seedai are the specialties of Tamil Nadu, while in Kerala, people relish on Paal Payasam (Milk Kheer) and Neyyappam. Mathura is popular for Peda (sweet made of khoya - dried milk food). Milk and curd are the key ingredients of most of the recipes made for the festival. Apart from this, Shrikhand (Sweet Golden Yogurt), Singhade Ki Poori, and Gulabjamun are prepared for the festival.

    Janmashtami Customs

    Janmashtami Customs

    Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great fun and fervor throughout the country. This day not simply signifies the birth of the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu but also the birth of a divine teacher who invoked the entire mankind with the divine knowledge and power. Thus, Janmashtami apart from its ritualistic celebrations also holds an eternal meaning to it. This festival is celebrated in various parts of the country though the customs and rituals vary from place to place. However, there are certain universal customs that are followed throughout the length and breadth of country. Here we have discussed in detail the rituals and customs of Janmashtami.

    Krishna Janmashtami Rituals & Traditions

    The most common and essential ritual followed on the day of Janmashtami is the fasting by devotees. Most of Lord Krsihna’s devotees fast for on this day and open the fast at midnight when it is assumed that Lord Krishna has been born. At the time of midnight also, the people who have observed fast whole day prefer to have only milk and milk products as they are considered auspicious as well pure. Some of the ardent devotees of Krishna observe the fat for the entire day even without consuming water- it is called ‘Nirjal Vrat’. There are other devotees who observe two day fast in the honor of Lord Krishna.

    It is said that chanting Lord Krishna’s name with entire devotion brings immense joy and pleasure in the life of the devotee. So, on the birthday of Lord Krishna, devotees indulge in continuous chanting of Krishna’s name for the entire day. They chant sholkas, mantras, richas from the Veda. They also read Bhagwat Geeta and sing bhajans in the name of Krishna. It is said that chanting 108 names of Lord Krishna brings auspiciousness in one’s life.

    Devotional Songs & Dances
    Bhajans are a vital custom of the Janmashtami celebrations. Devotees sing and dance with fervor in the name of Lord Krishna. In many temples of Mathura and Vridavana, you will find devotees mesmerized and overwhelmed with their love and devotion for Shri Krishna. In the midnight celebration, people gather at a place and sing several kinds of bhajans to highlight his feats and his divine characteristics.

    Plays On Lord Krishna
    Very much like the Ramleela, devotees of Lord Krishna organize plays on the life of Lord Krishna called Krishnaleela. In these plays organized by professional as well as amateur artists, several important deeds and legends associated with Lord Krishna are staged.

    Offering Sweets
    It is known to everybody that Lord Krishna was extremely fond of sweets and dairy products. So on the day of Krishnashtami, devotees of Lord Krishna prepare umpteen varieties of sweets and dairy products and offer them to the idols of Krishna. This ritual is called ‘bhog’. Later, these sweets are distributed amongst the devotees as ‘ Prasada’.

    At many places in the country, devotees tie swings on the trees and take rides on that. It is said that taking a swing ride on the occasion of Janmashtami is considered auspicious. This ritual is extremely popular in the rural parts of the country.

    Janmashtami In Vrindavan

    Janmashtami In Vrindavan

    Janmashtami is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Lord Krishna, who is considered the savior of humanity. The deity is worshipped for his extraordinary powers and unique charm. Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, took birth in the Dwapar Yug at the captivity of the demon King Kansa. According to the legends, Lord Krishna was born as the son of Devki (Kansa's sister) and Vasudev. Krishna was destined to kill Kansa and other demons and restore peace in the world. Born in Mathura, Krishna was brought up in Gokul, as the son of Nand and Yashoda. The small child was lovable brat, who wandered around with Gopis of the little town of Gokul. He spent his formative years in Vrindavan. Go through the following lines to know more about Janmashtami in Vrindavan.

    Krishna Janmashtami In Vrindavan
    Vrindavan is one of the famous places of pilgrimage in North India. Located 15 km away from Mathura (the birthplace of Lord Krishna), Vrindavan is at its best on the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami. The place is location for as many as 5000 Hindu temples, both ancient and modern. The holy town of Vrindavan is situated along the banks of River Yamuna. It is significance in the history of Janmashtami, because Lord Krishna performed the rasleelas with his beloved Gopis at the place. On the auspicious occasion of Krishna Janmashtami, Vrindavan is filled with devotees who visit the place from the nook and corner of India, to offer prayers to their lovable deity - Lord Krishna.

    The sound of bhajans and mantras echoes in vrindavan, on the festive occasion of Janmashtami. There, people start celebrating some seven to ten days prior to the exact date of the festival, because such is the influence of the place. Various plays are staged at different places in the town. Professional artists are called upon to give their best performance on the festive season, so that they are showered the blessings of Lord Krishna. Excerpts from the story of Janmashtami are depicted in the dramas, which are conducted all through the festive season.

    Some of the important temples of Vrindavan, which are visited during Janmashtami, include Banke Bihari Temple, Rangnathji Temple, Shri krishna Balram Temple, Radharaman Temple and ISCKON Temple. The timings are fixed for various ceremonies and pujas that are conducted all through the day, in the temples on the occasion of Janmashtami. One of the important rituals of the temples is Abhishek (holy bath) during which darshans are open for the devotees. Most of the devotees who visit the temples to seek the blessings of Lord Krishna would have kept fast for the entire day and would break it only at the midnight, after the special Janmashtami puja.

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Janmashtami Celebrations, Janmashtami Customs, Janmashtami In Vrindavan

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