Janmashtami or Krishnashtami commemorates the birth anniversary of cow-herd god, Lord Krishna. It is on this auspicious day Lord Krishna made an advent towards His earthly abode, thus to shower his blessings onto human kind as well to eradicate any form of evils dominating the land.
The birthplace of Krishna, Mathura and Vrindavan celebrate this occasion with great enthusiasm and splendor. Religious plays or Raslilas are performed to recreate events from the life of Lord Krishna and to honor his love for Radha.
Janmashtami commemorates the earthly appearance of Krishna, who is described in India’s sacred writings as God Himself. One of the biggest religious festivals in the world, it is celebrated by nine hundred and thirty million people around the world–and two million in the US alone.
Janmashtami festival is celebrated all over India in the Hindu month of Shravan (August/September) on the ‘Ashtami’ or the eighth day of Krishna Paksh or dark fortnight.
Janmashtami is also known as Gokulashtami, Srijayanti and Krishnasthami. The day is celebrated with great zeal and devotion.
The Lord Krishna devotees observe fast for the entire day and night, worshiping him and stay vigil throughout the night listening to his tales, reciting hymns and singing devotional songs from the Gita.
Devotees gather to these pious places to celebrate Janmashtami. On this auspicious day, homes and temples are decorated and illuminated beautifully.
Singing and dancing is marked as the celebration of this festive all over northern India. At midnight, the figurine of infant Krishna is bathed and laid in a cradle, which is rocked, amidst the ringing of bells.