Janmashtami is celebrated by Hindu devotees to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna who is believed to be the eighth avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lord Krishna was born in an era of turmoil, chaos and when evil was reigning everywhere. Born as the eighth child to Devaki and Vasudeva, he proved the prophecy right that proclaimed the evil King Kansa will die in the hands of his eighth nephew. This year, the festival of Janmashtami will be observed on 24 August across India.
On this auspicious day, the famous folklore of his birth is narrated in Hindu temples and devotees organise plays and dance performances based on Lord Krishna’s life.
How is it celebrated in different parts of the country:
Besides the pujas, this festival is also celebrated in different ways including organising Dahi handi competitions, Raas leela performances across the country.
North India-Mathura and Dwarka
Janmashtami is celebrated at a grand scale with unmatched zeal and grandeur in the Mathura and Vrindavan region of North India. As per Hindu mythology, it is believed that Lord Krishna was born in Mathura and grew up in Vrindavan.
Devotees from all over the world gather to see and participate in the rituals and events that take place on the auspicious day.
Krishna leelas and Raas leelas that narrate the life of Lord Krishna in the form of plays and dance performances are organised by groups that attract lakhs of tourists from all over the globe. The temples in the regions that are decorated with flower and lights come to life at night.
Lord Krishna was believed to be extremely fond of butter and curd and would attempt to steal it from matkas and pots away from his reach. In Maharashtra, the youth celebrates this legend by organising Dahi Handi competitions that are concluded with prize distribution ceremony. Groups of young boys and men form a human pyramid to break an earthen pot filled with curd hung about 20-30 feet from the ground on a rope. The pyramid collapses a number of times but the boys don’t give up till the pot is broken as onlookers cheer them up. The enthusiasm in young participants makes the festival of Dahi Handi lively and extremely euphoric.
Lord Krishna founded his kingdom in Dwarka and hence Janmashtami is celebrated as a great event in Gujarat. On this auspicious day, people in Gujarat celebrate the festival with decorating household temples, singing devotional songs and preparing sweetmeats to offer to God.
They also mark the day with celebrations similar to Dahi Handi but the festival is known by the name of Makhan Handi.
In Tamil Nadu, apart from observing a fast for the whole day, people also decorate the floor with beautiful patterns made of rice batter called kolams. Bhagwad Gita is also recited and offerings are made to God. In Andhra Pradesh, young boys dress up as Krishna and devotees sing devotional songs and chant mantras. Popular sweet dishes such as seedai, sweet seedai, verkadalai urundai are also prepared to mark the celebrations.
Updated Date: Aug 23, 2019 07:20:45 IST