Krishna Janmashtami or Janamashtami, is also known as Krishnashtami. It is celebrated in different regions of India by differnet names like Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti, etc. It is an annual commemoration of the birth of the Hindu deity Krishna.
This festival is celebrated on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Bhadrapada which every year falls in the month of August or September. God krishna was famous for his Ras Lilas. The term Ras means Aesthetic and Lila means play or dance, which roughly translates the meaning of Ras-Lila as " Dance of Divine Love". While the Rasa lila re-creates the flirtatious aspects of Krishna's youthful days, the Dahi Handi celebrate God's playful and mischievous side, where teams of young men form human towers to reach a high-hanging pot of butter and break it. This tradition, also known as uriadi, is a major event in Tamil Nadu on Gokulashtami.
Krishna was the 8th son of Devaki and Vasudeva. And was born to kill Mama Kans.
Mathura (in present day Mathura district, Uttar Pradesh) was the capital of the Yadavas, to which Krishna's parents Vasudeva and Devaki belonged. King Kansa, Devaki's brother,had ascended the throne by imprisoning his father, King Ugrasena. Afraid of a prophecy that predicted his death at the hands of Devaki's eighth son, Kansa had the couple locked into a prison cell. After Kansa killed the first six children, and Devaki's apparent miscarriage of the seventh (which was actually a secret transfer of the infant to Rohini as Balarama), Krishna was born.
After his birth Vishnu ordered Vasudeva to take Krishna to Gokul to Nanda and Yashoda where he can live safely,away from his evil Uncle Kansa.So Vasudeva took Krishna with him and crossed Yamuna to reach Gokul .There everyone was asleep,so he quietly kept him there and returned with Yashoda's daughter.Kansa,thinking her to be Devki's eight child,threw her on a stone.But she rose in air and transformed into Yogmaya(who is Vishnu's helper)and warned Kansa about his death.Then she disappeared.Krishna grew up in Gokul with his brother Balram. Then he returned to Mathura and killed Kansa with the help of his brother,Balram.
In many regions of India, Janamashtami is celebrated by fasting and staying up until midnight, the time when Krishna is believed to have been born. In some parts of India, it is celebrated as Dahi-Handi. The handi is a clay pot filled with buttermilk that is positioned at a convenient height prior to the event. The topmost person on the human pyramid tries to break the handi by hitting it with a blunt object. When the handi breaks, the buttermilk is spilled over the entire group, symbolizing their achievement through unity.
There are few foods made especially for this vrat -
- Sabudana khichdi
- Palak Paneer with no onion-garlic
- Vrat Wale Aloo Tikki
- Nariyal ke ladoo
Happy Janamasthami to all