Hindus Celebrate the Birth of Krishna – Krishna Janmashtami
- By Nathan Glover --
- 26 Aug 2016 --
The Hindu festival Krishna Janmashtami, the celebration of the birth of Hinduism’s favorite God, Krishna, takes place on August 25 this year.
Krishna, whose 5,243rd birthday will be celebrated in 2016, is considered the Hindu “leader, hero, protector, philosopher, teacher and friend all rolled into one,” reports about.com. Hinduism teaches that God manifested himself through Krishna.
Hindus Celebrate the Birth of Krishna – Krishna Janmashtami[/tweetthis]
Krishna was born at midnight on the 8th day (Ashtami) of the dark fortnight (Krishnapaksha) in the Hindu month of Shravan, which spans some of August and September.
Indians are celebrating the festival of Janmashtami, which marks the birthday of Hindu Lord Krishna. pic.twitter.com/xWgoClRgHD
— AJ+ (@ajplus) August 25, 2016
It has been described as Christmas and New Year’s Day rolled into one in the Western tradition.
The various Indian regions celebrate this holiest of holidays in different ways. First is fasting, which is common to most regions. Hindus will fast from before sunrise until midnight on Janmashtami. Krishna was believed to have been born at midnight, so at the end of the fasting, a statue of Krishna is presented to those in attendance, and is symbolically fed fruits and sweets.
Fond memories of celebrating Janmashtami as a kid. My friends & me made the whole ‘jhanki’ about the birth of Lord Krishna.Happy Janmashtami
— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) August 25, 2016
In Vrindavan and Mathura, where Krishna is believed to have been born, Hindus celebrate with a musical which serves as a dramatic reenactment of Krishna’s life.
In Maharashtra, the game known as Dahi Handi (buttermilk pot) has become extremely popular over the years. The goal of the game is to break a pot of buttermilk which has been tied at a certain height. Dahi Handi is symbolic of the young Krishna stealing butter, and also his playful nature. Participants form a human period in order to reach the pot. The prize pool for the winner of the contest has grown bigger each year of its existence.
Glimpses from today's Krishna Janmashtami celebrations with Gurudev @SriSri at @BangaloreAshram! pic.twitter.com/8Em4MZJa2r
— Art of Living Ashram (@BangaloreAshram) August 25, 2016
Additionally, homes and temples are decorated, and Krishna idols are bathed, its clothes cleaned and changed. Various foods are prepared for feasting after the fast.
Countries other than India also celebrate Krishna Janmashtami. Bangladesh adds a procession to the typical activities. In Pakistan, sermons on Krishna are delivered in addition to the chanting of bhajans. Nepal falls in line with most of the Indian celebrations.
In 2017, Krishna Janmashtami will fall on August 15.