Krishna Janmashtami 2020: Date, time, significance, history of Krishna's birth anniversary

Janmashtami, the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, is celebrated in various parts of the country with great enthusiasm. The festival is celebrated with most fervour in Mathura which is said to be his birthplace. Janmashtami 2020 will be celebrated on two days — 11 and 12 August.

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Krishna Janmashtami 2020: Date, time, significance, history of Krishna's birth anniversary

Janmashtami, the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, is celebrated in various parts of the country with great enthusiasm. The festival is celebrated with most fervour in Mathura which is said to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Krishna Janmashtami 2020 will be celebrated on two days — 11 and 12 August.

Krishna is believed to be the eight avatar, or incarnation, of Vishnu. He is said to be born on the eighth day of the Krishna Paksha in the month of Bhadrapad according to the Hindu calendar. As per Drik Panchang, devotees observe fast on this day and abstain from consuming grains until the next day sunrise. Krishna Janmashtami is also known as Krishnashtami, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti and Sree Jayanthi.

This is marks the 5,247th birth anniversary of Lord Krishna.

Janmashtami 2020: Date and Puja timing

Janmashtami Tithi - 11 August
Nishita Puja Time - 12:05 am to 12:48 am of 12 August

ISKCON will be celebrating Krishna Janmashtami on 12 August, reported Mumbai Mirror. According to the report, spokesperson Parijata Devi said that devotees will be able to view e-puja and abhishek online. According to the spokesperson, devotees will also be able to hear Janmashtami Katha, stories about Krishna's birth, that is being broadcast online daily in the morning and evening.

According to The Indian Express, people sing devotional songs and maintain vigil at night since it is believed that Lord Krishna was born at midnight.

The idols of Lord Krishna are cleaned with milk, ghee, curd and decorate with new clothes and ornaments. The idol is then placed in a cradle to symbolise the birth of the lord.

According to legend, Krishna was the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudeva.

Devaki was the sister of Mathura's cruel king Kansa and it was prophesied that her eighth son would be the cause of his death. The moment Kansa got to know about the prophecy, he had both Devaki and Vasudeva imprisoned and one by one, killed all their sons until Krishna was born.

On the night Krishna was born, a divine voice instructed Vasudeva to take Krishna to Vrindavan where he would be safe. The voice revealed that once Vasudeva’s eighth born grows up, he can come tackle the Kansa and free Mathura of its miseries.

Vasudeva travelled from Mathura to Vrindavan crossing Yamuna river on foot carrying Krishna on top of his head, braving the stormy night. Krishna spent his early years in Vrindavan in the care of Yashoda and Nand.

Krishna devotees keep a fast on the day of Janmashtami. As per believers, one should only have a single meal before the auspicious day. On the day of the festival, devotees abstain from partaking any kind of food and break their fast on the next day. Consuming grains is a strictly avoiding during Janmashtami fasting.

Janmashtami, which is celebrated across India, sees different regions adding their own flavour to the festivities. Mathura and Vrindavan in North India witness celebrations in a grand scale as it is believed that Lord Krishna was born in Mathura and grew up in Vrindavan. Krishna Leelas and Raas Leelas also take place narrating the life of Lord Krishna in the forms of plays and dance recitals.

In Maharashtra, the festival is celebrated by organising Dahi Handi competitions that conclude with prize distribution ceremonies, while in Gujarat's Dwarka devotees decorate household temples, sing devotional songs and prepare sweetmeats for the God.

In Tamil Nadu, people observe fast and decorate the floor with beautiful patterns made of rice batter called kolams. Young boys in Andhra Pradesh dress up as Krishna and devotees chant mantras and sing devotional songs as well.

In Odisha and West Bengal, the festival is also called Sri Krishna Jayanti and is celebrated by fasting and reciting the tenth chapter of the Hindu scripture of Bhagavata Purana until midnight. The next day sees Nanda Utsav. In Manipur the celebrations see fasting, recitation fo scriptures and the Raslila dance performances.

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