Janmashtami is celebrated as the birthday of 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lord Krishna who is considered as God of compassion, love and tenderness, who was born in the month of Shrawan of Lunar Hindu Calender, which comes around the months of August and September every year. Janmashtami is celebrated as one of the major festivals in Vaishnavism sect. Temples are decorated and life events of Krishna are performed by actors all through the night enjoyed by thousands of devotees. Krishna Leela is an important part of the celebrations.
This year, Janmashtami is being celebrated on two days; 2nd and 3rd September. While most of the people are celebrating it on 2nd Septemeber itself, many are waiting for 3rd September. Janmasthmi follows night vigil, singing and people dancing to celebrate the birth of their God. Nandotsav is also celebrated after Janmashtami. It is believed that after the birth of Lord Krishna, villagers from Braj rushed to see him at the house of Nanda Baba and to congratulate Mata Yashoda. Nand Baba distributed clothes, ornaments and many other gifts to saints on the birth of Lord Krishna.
Nandotsav is celebrated the very next day after Janmashtami
Janmashtami is although celebrated throughout India, but the festival has a special significance in states like Maharashtra, Gujrat and Rajasthan. In Maharashtra, Janmashtami is also celebrated as Gokulashtami where followers known as ‘Govindas‘ climb on top of one another in order to break the “Dahi Handi’ (Yoghurt Pot) hung high in the air.
This has become more of a competition where teams from various cities participate in order to win the prize money. According to a newspaper, more than 4,000 Dahi Handi’s were hung in Mumbai itself in the year 2014 where a number of Govindas participated in order to win the prize. People in huge number register their presence in such events.
How should we celebrate Janmashtami at our homes
If you have an idol of Lord Krishna at your home, make sure to clean it up, and change its clothes on this Janmashtami. Keeping fast throughout the day is another way many devotees show their faith towards Krishna. Many stay up all night singing songs based on Raas Leela and other events from Krishna’s early life. Wearing new clothes, visiting temples and eating different sweets is how many devotees spend their day. If you also have young kids at home, make sure to include them in the celebrations. Many people also like to dress up their child as young Krishna on this auspicious occasion.