The Tradition and Fun on Janmashtami
The Tradition and Fun on Janmashtami – India, the land of festivals makes it the best place to live for a lot of reasons. One of the prime reasons is that people get to celebrate so many festivals of different cultures, and traditions, that living in this country is full of life.
Each state of India has something unique and as soon as you cross each border, you get to experience new things. The same goes for the festivals. Not only India has so many festivals but the way it is celebrated in different parts of the country makes it even more fun. Since India is a country that has people of so many origins and castes, we get to celebrate festivals in a variety and we are always up for it.
In this blog, we are going to talk about one of the most fun Indian festivals and that is Janmashtami. This festival is celebrated throughout the country. The best thing is that each state celebrates this festival in a different way and in this blog, we are going to talk about every kind of tradition and fun elements associated with this festival.
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The Tradition and Fun on Janmashtami
Janmashtami is a Hindu festival and it is related to Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is the 8th avatar of Lord Vishnu. In the scriptures like the Gita Govinda, it is mentioned that Lord Krishna has been identified as the supreme God and the source of all avatars. This is an important festival for the Hindus and especially for the Vaishnavs and Yadavs, this is a major festival as Lord Krishna is believed to belong to the Yadav community. The other names for Janmashtami are Krishnashtami, Gokulashtami, Yadukulashtami, Krishna Jayanti, and even Sri Krishna Jayanti. The birth of Lord Krishna and Dahi-Handi are the two major things done on this day.
History and Mythology
Each Hindu festival has a mythological story attached to it. The same goes for Janmashtami and the life of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna was the 8th son of Devaki and Vasudev. When Devaki was married to Vasudev, a celestial body warned Kansa (brother of Devaki and an evil king) that a son of Devaki would be his end as he was going to kill him.
To save himself, Kansa locked his sister and brother-in-law in a cell and killed all of their sons so that they could not kill him as per the warning. But, at the time Lord Krishna was born, something miraculous happened and the guards of the cell fell asleep and the gates of the cell opened itself. Vasudev then took a newborn Krishna and handed him to his foster parents, Nanda and Yashoda. They are the ones who took care of Lord Krishna for his whole life. Later he killed Kansa.
Date of Janmashtami 2023
This year, Janmashtami is celebrated on the 6th and 7th of September. Usually, it is celebrated on one day only, but as per the timings, it is celebrated on two days.
Why is it celebrated?
This festival is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. It was on Janmashtami that Lord Krishna was born and hence this day is celebrated each year as Lord’s birthday.
When is it celebrated?
The festival as the name says Janmashtami includes two words which are Janma which means birth and ashtami which is the date on which he was born. Ashtami is the eighth day as per the Hindu calendar which starts from Ekadashi (which is the first day after the Poornima or the full moon day). So, Lord Krishna’s birthday falls on the Ashtami or the eighth day.
This festival generally falls on the August/September month as per the Gregorian calendar. It can also be calculated as the eighth day of Raksha Bandhan (which falls on the Poornima day every year). Krishna’s birth is celebrated and observed on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha) in Shravana Masa (as per the amanta tradition) or Bhadrapada Masa (as per the purnimanta tradition).
The different traditions of this day
Janmashtami has different customs and traditions attached to it. Some of the most common things that are done on this day are Krishna Leela acts, Bal Gopal acts, cultural programmes, Gopi dances, reading and recitation of religious texts, showing and telling the life and acts of Lord Krishna, devotional singing till midnight, and fasting as well.
One of the most important traditions of this festival is fasting. Lord Krishna devotees and the believers of Lord Krishna fast on the day of Janmashtami. Mostly, this fasting is done by unmarried girls. This fasting ritual is taken up by young girls because the rules of fasting are pretty easy in this one.
Devotees can drink water, sharbat, tea, etc. throughout the day. The devotees can also sweet dishes and fruits to keep themselves full. The fasting is done for the entire day. At midnight time, puja is done, the birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated, sweets, butter, curd, and prasad are offered, and after doing Aarti at midnight and singing songs for Lord Krishna, the devotees open their fast by first eating the prasad and then eating their food.
Another important tradition is singing songs, doing puja, and doing Aarti from the evening till midnight time. The child form of Lord Krishna called Bal Gopala is kept in the cradle and is swung like a kid. This is an important ritual to play with Bal Gopala.
Another important tradition is decorating the houses, the temples, and every place where the festival is going to be celebrated. Decorations are a must for this festival.
Krishna Leela and Bhagwad Gita recitations are also carried out at this festival. In these functions, lots of dances, avatar recreations, etc. are done. Even small kids are dressed up as Lord Krishna’s kid version and girls are dressed up as Radha Rani or the Gopi. They are well-adorned and they take part in performances.
Dahi-Handi is the next most important tradition of the festival. On this occasion, Gopala groups make people pyramids and climb on one another to reach the matka or the earthen pots and break them. As per the beliefs, Lord Krishna used to steal butter or Makhan from people’s houses in his village as a kid from the matkas and eat it. This is still celebrated in this form to the present day. Lots of prizes and game shows are organised on the dahi-handi day and the team that breaks the matkas wins the prizes. It is a fun-filled event that happens in different parts of the country.
The fun element of this festival
It is a playful festival because it celebrates the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. So, each thing is fun-filled only. Even the fasting rituals are not tough for this festival. People celebrate Lord Krishna’s birthday just like a birthday of a newborn baby. Chocolates and fruits are distributed and people enjoy the sweet dishes on the birth of Lord Krishna.
Celebrations in the ISKCON temple
Apart from the other Lord Krishna temples of the city, ISKCON temple is one of the most famous Lord Krishna temples for Hindus. The celebrations in this temple are also quite unique and extremely lavish. Devotees from all over the world visit these temples across the country to witness the celebrations in this temple.
This was all about the festival of Janmashtami. This vibrant, playful, and colourful festival is all about pouring your love out for Lord Krishna. This day is all about indulging in the prayers and devotion of Lord Krishna and praying for him to accept your devotion, free you of your sins, and grant you all your wishes. It is a beautiful festival to celebrate. Attending the Krishna Leelas will give you an insight into the life of Lord Krishna from birth to his young life and more.
The Tradition and Fun on Janmashtami – India, the land of festivals makes it the best place to live for a lot of reasons. One of the prime reasons is that people get to celebrate so many festivals of different cultures, and traditions, that living in this country is full of life. Each state of India…