Janmashtami is the day when the eighth avatar of Vishnu and Hinduism's favorite god Krishna was born. As per Hindu calendar, Janmashtami is celebrated on the 8th day of the dark fortnight in Bhadrapad month or on ashtami of Krishnapaksha.
The festival is celebrated all over India with great enthusiasm and devotion. This year Janmashtami falls on Sunday, September 2.
As Krishna was born at midnight, people stay awake all night and offer prayers. Devotees sing devotional songs, dance to Krishna Bhajan and rejoice. Readings of Bhagvad Gita, the Hindu religious scripture, are also held at several temples.
At midnight, an idol or image of infant Krishna is bathed in milk, dressed in colorful clothes and placed in a cradle. Sweets are distributed to celebrate the birth of Krishna. Devotees also recite hymns and listen to tales of the birth of Krishna.
Although the entire country celebrates Janmashtami, the celebration at Mathura and Vrindavan is very special. On the occasion of Janmashtami, temples and homes are decorated and hymns from Bhagvad Gita are sung.
Janmashtami celebrations in Vrindavan begin ten days prior to the date of Janmashtami. Ras Leelas are performed on this day. Temples perform various aarti and pooja to worship Krishna. The whole town becomes alive with the sound of bells and bhajans. Devotees from all over the world visit the holy town of Vrindavan on Janmashtami.
In Maharashtra, Janmashtami is celebrated in a unique way, by hanging dahi handi high above the ground. People form a human pyramid to break the dahi handi, basically an earthen pot filled with curd, milk, water and fruits.
Janamashtami remains one of the most awaited festivals for Hindus. This day also marks the initiation of festival season in India, when a number of different occasions & celebrations like Diwali arrive till the end of the year and the nation erupts in great jubilation and festivity.
Much of the people out there love Lord Krishna. He is one of the favorite idols and hence this celebration has a lot of significance for many Hindus. On this day, people pray to Lord Krishna and seek his blessings for a happy & good life. There are long queues and people are waiting outside Lord Krishna's temples waiting for their turn on the day of Janmashtami and everybody sings praises of Lord Krishna on this holy day.
So now, when Janmashtami is just few days ahead, get started with the preparations of this holy festival in different ways to greet Lord Krishna at your place and take his blessings.