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Janmashtami is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, one of the most revered deities in Hinduism. This festival is celebrated every year on the 8th day (Ashtami) of the Hindu lunar month of Shravan (July/August). Believed to be 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Lord Krishna is one of the most revered and supreme Gods in Hinduism. Lord Krishna's birth time is at midnight. Therefore, people wish each other Happy Krishna Jayanthi to exchange each other's energies and make the day positive.
The story of Krishna, the divine child, who killed his maternal uncle because of his infamous greed, is the reason for Janmashtami celebrations in Hindu mythology. When Kans’ sister, Mata Devaki, married Vasudeva. Kans heard a voice from above say, 'The eight children of Vasudeva and Devaki' will be the cause of your death. Kans was terrified, so he imprisoned the couple. Kans mercilessly murdered Devaki's seven children. When their eighth child was born, Vasudeva placed him in the basket and exchanged him for Nanda’s child.
While Vasudeva was carrying Lord Krishna, a ten-headed snake shielded them from heavy rain. Vasudeva realised his child was endowed with divine power. Yasodha Mata cared for him and loved him. Later, he murdered his maternal uncle Kans. He was born to protect the world from evil energies, and he represents the triumph of good over evil. Janmashtami meaning rests in the victory of positivity and goodness over negativity and evil. Lord Krishna birth time is at Midnight on 8 th day (Ashtami) in July or August. Janmashtami moon tithi 2023 is from 9:20 pm on 18th August to 10:59 pm on 19th August 2023.
Some devotees get confused and ask how can we celebrate Janmashtami. Hindus celebrate Janmashtami with great enthusiasm and devotion all over the world. On this day, people fast, sing devotional songs, perform dances and enact scenes from the life of Lord Krishna. Temples and homes are decorated with flowers and lights to mark the occasion.
The most important part of the Janmashtami celebrations is the Dahi-Handi ceremony, where a pot of curd is hung high in the air, and young men form human pyramids to break it. This ritual is said to symbolise Lord Krishna's love for food and his mischievous nature.
Janmashtami is also a time for introspection and spiritual reflection. Many Hindus use this opportunity to seek blessings from Lord Krishna and to pray for peace, prosperity and happiness. People keep 24 hr fast on Janmashtami and end their fast in the temple or at home after taking the Bhog of Krishan ji. Janmashtami fast significance is that it brings people near Lord Krishna and gives them the power to get rid of Karmic cycle.
In South India, Krishan Ji or Nand Kishore is given sweets such as Chakkodi, Murukku, and Sedai in Andhra Pradesh and Sweet Sedai in Tamil Nadu. People sing hymns and dance in front of the deity to add colour to the celebration. They decorate their homes, and Shrimad Bhagwat is also recited to maintain spirituality. People also put imprints of Krishan Ji in their homes and dance to devotional songs.
People living in North India celebrate Janmashtami by Singing and worshipping the god. Then, devotees dress their children as Krishan and distribute sweets among the priests. Janmashtami instils the devotee with the energy to feel attached to Lord Krishna. Then, there is a program called Dahi Handi. The matki is hung above with Makhan inside, and small-aged children form groups and reach towards Dahi Handi. People then burst the Matki and distribute Prasad amongst everyone.
In Jammu, the birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated by flying kites. People gather on the terrace and sing songs. People recite hymns and create a peaceful atmosphere. It intrigues every devotee. There are Janmashtami fairs, and some people get their children dressed as Krishan Ji.
Iskon worships Lord Krishna with much compassion and by offering favourite delicacies to the deity. Iskon is constructed all over the world to inspire people by reciting empowering stories of Lord Krishna. In Iskon, the hall is decorated with flowers. The day begins with a Mangal Aarti, wherein all priests chant mantras. Then, the worshippers are offered prasad, which is filled with the blessing of Lord Krishna.
Janmashtami, which is also known as Krishna Jayanti, is the auspicious and holy celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna. Wishing each other a happy Janmashtami and worshipping Lord Krishna makes him happy. Whether fasting, singing, dancing, or simply reflecting on the teachings of Lord Krishna, this festival brings people together to celebrate the divine and seek blessings for the future.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna was born in Mathura to Devaki and Vasudeva in a prison cell where they were being held captive by King Kansa. Despite being imprisoned, Lord Krishna was born with divine powers and grew up to defeat King Kansa and restore justice to the kingdom. It gives us the energy to fight for rights and remove negativity from life. This gives us a brief insight about Janmashtami in English.