Janmashtami is the birthday of Lord Krishna, the re-incarnation of Lord Vishnu who gave us the vital message of the Bhagwat Gita - the guiding principles for every Hindu.Janmashtami is celebrated with full vigor all over the country. Janmashtami is celebrated in various parts of India to mark the birth of Lord Krishna. It is observed on the Ashtami day of the Shravan month [Hindu calendar]. Its on 21st August 2011 on Sunday.
The temples of Vrindavan witness an extravagant and colourful celebration on this occasion. Raslila is performed to recreate incidents from the life of Krishna and to commemorate his love for Radha.
Lord Krishna is one of the most loved and revered Gods in the Hindu religion. He is regarded as the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu born as human in ‘Dwapur Yug' (Iron Age). He was a “Yaduvanshi” and is said to have been born between 3200 and 3100 BC according to Indian and Western researchers. Lord Krishna was born as the eighth child of Devki and Vasudev but was brought up by Mata Yashoda and Baba Nand.
The word, “Krishna” means, “one who is always in the transport of joy”. It also means “Black”. Lord Krishna was named so because of his dark complexion.
Janmashtami is celebrated all over the nation with great reverence and obeisance. Lord Krishna is the God that is worshipped on this day. Not only in India, people enjoy Janmashtami celebrations round the world. This year Janmashtami will fall on 21st August 2011. Various delicacies will be prepared and offered to Gokulnandan. People will go for shopping and will have gala time admiring the sweet and magnetic image of Shri Krishna. There will be family get together and feasting.
People will welcome a newborn baby Lord on this earth and remember his teachings. So, come let us together pray to God and commemorate his birthday as Janmashtami celebrations in India. Almost all the temples of the country witness thousands of devotees lined up to get a glimpse of the Lord Narayana on this day and offer prayers. Whether it is Lord Vishnu, Lord Ayyapa or Lord Narayana, each one of them is worshipped with full devotion.
Janmashtami celebration in India is enjoyed for two-three days in most parts of the country. The first two days are celebrated as the birth of the Lord Krishna, whereas on the third day, the most popular ceremony takes place known as breaking of curd pot or ‘dahi handi'.
Lord Vishnu is invoked in his human incarnation as Krishna on his birth anniversary in the festival of Janmashtami. The idol of the infant Krishna is bathed at midnight and is placed in a cradle. Devotional songs and dances mark the celebration of this festive occasion all over Northern India.
On this day, in some parts of India, especially Maharashtra, youths celebrate it by breaking clay pots called 'Dahi-Handi', filled with curd and butter suspended high above the ground, young men and children form human pyramid to reach the pot and break it. This custom follows the habit of Lord Krishna who used to steal butter in this manner from villagers along with his friends. The reason for this is that Gokul; the place where lord Krishna spent his childhood used to generate a lot of milk and the people used to sell it in Mathura, thus depriving their children from milk and butter which is very essential for young boys and girls.
In Maharashtra, Janmashtami witnesses the exuberant enactment of the god's childhood endeavors to steal butter and curd from earthen pots beyond his reach.