Janmashtami 2023: History, significance and celebration of Lord Krishna’s birth

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Janmashtami 2023: History, significance and celebration of Lord Krishna’s birth

Krishna Janmashtami falls on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the month of “Bhadrapada” in India. This year, Janmashtami will be celebrated on

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Krishna Janmashtami falls on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the month of “Bhadrapada” in India. This year, Janmashtami will be celebrated on September 6 and 7. According to Hindu mythology, Krishna is the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu and also the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudev.

Janmashtami is also known as Krishna Janmashtami, Gokulashtami, Krishnashtami, Shree Jayanti or Krishna Jayanthi.

Janmashtami, a popular festival in India, will be celebrated today and tomorrow by Hindus all across the country. Also known as Krishna Janmashtami, Gokulashtami, Krishnashtami, Shree Jayanti or Krishna Jayanthi, the day marks the birth of Lord Vishnu’s eighth avatar, Lord Krishna. The auspicious occasion is celebrated with much fervour and enthusiasm.

On this day, devotees of Lord Krishna visit temples to worship him and seek his blessings. According to Vedic chronology, this year will mark the 5,250th birthday of Krishna. The festival is especially observed in Mathura, Vrindavan and Dwarka, where the God was believed to be born and spent his growing years.

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According to Hindu mythology, Krishna is the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu and also the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudev. He was born on Janmashtami to destroy and defeat the demon king of Mathura, Kansa, who was also Devaki’s brother. The demon king had captured and kept Devaki and Vasudev in prison because of a prophecy that claimed that the couple’s eighth son would cause Kansa’s downfall. Due to this, he killed off six of their children.

It is believed that at the time of their seventh child Balram’s birth, the foetus magically transferred from Devaki’s womb to Princess Rohini’s. When Krishna was born, the entire palace fell into a deep slumber. The prison gates magically opened and Vasudev carried Krishna to Nand Baba and Yashoda in a basket on his head. He crossed the river Yamuna to reach Vrindavan and handed Krishna to them. Vasudev returned to the palace with a baby girl.

When Kansa tried to kill the baby girl, she transformed into Goddess Durga and warned him of his death. Krishna grew up in Vrindavan and subsequently killed his uncle.

Celebrations:

Janmashtami is a huge festival in India as it marks the victory of good over evil. On this day, devotees fast and read the Bhagavad Gita as well. They pray to Lord Krishna and distribute sweets. At midnight, priests open the drapes and reveal Krishna’s beautifully decorated deity adorned with new clothes.

People also mark the day by celebrating the “Dahi Handi” festival. It is quite popular in the states such as Gujarat and Maharashtra. Young boys come together to make a human pyramid and aim to break an earthen pot filled with dahi or curd. The pot is hung very high from the ground and the festival highlights the mischievous and playful personality of Lord Krishna. It is believed that he loved “makkhan” or butter very much and used to steal it, thus earning him the name “Makkhan Chor”.

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