The Hindu community of India and abroad are all set to celebrate Janmashtami, the birth of Lord Krishna, on Thursday (Aug 25).
The festival celebrating birth of the eighth avatar of Vishnu falls on the Ashtami of the Krishna Paksha (eighth day of no moon) of the month of Bhadrapad (August–September) in the Hindu calendar.
On this pious occasion, we bring you 15 interesting facts about Janmashtami celebrations:
1. Janmashtami is also referred to as Krishna Janmashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti and Sree Jayanti.
2. In India, religious frenzy can be seen at North Indian city of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, where Krishna was born, and Gokul, 15 km south-east of Mathura, where the Lord was brought up.
There are reportedly over 400 temples in Mathura dedicated to Nandgopal. There are celebrations galore at Mathura’s twin city Vrindavan as well.
3. Gokulashtami is also celebrated in South India where devotees offer Krishna fruits as ‘prasadam’ and sing devotional songs.
The floors are decorated with small footprints made of flour symbolizing those of Bal-Gopal (baby Krishna).
4. In the western state of Maharashtra, the major attraction of the festival is ‘dahi-handi’ (breaking of a pot full of curd hung in the air by a human pryamid).
Over 4000 “dahi-handi” events are organized on Janmashtami in Mumbai alone; the most popular of them being held at Girgaon, Dadar, Lower Parel, Worli and Lalbaug. The event symbolizes stealing of butter by Krishna and his friends.
5. Gujarat, a land which is believed to be Krishna’s kingdon, also celebrates the festival, especially at the Dwarkadhish temple.