Latest UpdatesSpecial DaysFestivalsJanmashtami 2023: Celebrating the Birth of Lord Krishna

Janmashtami 2023: Celebrating the Birth of Lord Krishna

Janmashtami is a grand festival celebrated all over India to commemorate the birth of Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu. According to the Hindu calendar, Janmashtami falls on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksha in the month of Bhadrapad (the dark fortnight of the moon) or the 8th day of the waning phase of the moon. In accordance with Vedic timekeeping, devotees take Sankalpa after finishing morning rituals and perform Krishna Puja at the midnight hour. Baby Krishan’s idol is cleaned with Pancha Amrit, dressed with new clothes and ornaments, and worshipped in a cradle with flowers, fruits, and sweets. Furthermore, Dahi Handi programs are held since Lord Krishna enjoyed Makhan (white butter), curd, and milk.

Janmashtami 2023 Date

Janmashtami is celebrated in August or September according to the Gregorian calendar. Every year, Shri Krishna Janmashtami falls on a different date. There are usually two consecutive days devoted to Janmashtami. The first one is for Smarta Sampradaya and the other one is for Vaishnava Sampradaya.

This year, Janmashtami will be celebrated on September 6 and 7ยน. The table below shows the details of the date and time for both sampradayas:

SampradayaDateTime
SmartaSeptember 6Nishita Puja Time: 00:01 to 00:45
VaishnavaSeptember 7Nishita Puja Time: 00:01 to 00:45

Janmashtami Significance

Janmashtami is one of the most important festivals for Hindus as it marks the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, who is considered to be the supreme personality of Godhead. Lord Krishna was born in Mathura at midnight in a prison cell where his parents Vasudeva and Devaki were imprisoned by his evil uncle Kansa. He was miraculously transferred to Gokul by his father where he was raised by his foster parents Nanda and Yashoda. He grew up as a mischievous and playful child who charmed everyone with his divine qualities. He also performed many miracles and killed many demons who threatened the peace and harmony of the world. He later became a great warrior, statesman, philosopher, and teacher who imparted the timeless wisdom of Bhagavad Gita to his friend and disciple Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.

Janmashtami is celebrated to remember and honor the life and teachings of Lord Krishna, who is revered as the embodiment of love, compassion, joy, and justice. He is also worshipped as the protector of dharma (righteousness) and the destroyer of adharma (evil). He is believed to be present in every living being as the indwelling soul or Atman. By chanting his names, singing his glories, listening to his stories, and meditating on his form, devotees seek his blessings and grace for their spiritual progress and material well-being.

Janmashtami Celebrations

Janmashtami is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion across India with various regional and cultural variations. Some of the common ways of celebrating Janmashtami are:

  • Fasting: Many devotees observe a strict fast on Janmashtami until midnight when Lord Krishna was born. They break their fast by offering prasad (sacred food) to the deity and then distributing it among themselves.
  • Puja: Devotees perform puja (ritual worship) at home or in temples by offering flowers, incense, lamps, fruits, sweets, and other items to Lord Krishna. They also recite mantras, hymns, and prayers from scriptures such as Vishnu Sahasranama, Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, etc.
  • Bhajan: Devotees sing bhajans (devotional songs) in praise of Lord Krishna throughout the day and night. They also dance in ecstasy to express their love and joy for him. Some of the popular bhajans are Hare Krishna Mahamantra, Govinda Jaya Jaya, Jai Radha Madhav, etc.
  • Jhulan: Devotees decorate a swing or jhulan with flowers and place an idol or picture of baby Krishna on it. They then rock him gently while singing lullabies or rocking songs such as Maiya Mori Main Nahin Makhan Khayo, Nand Ke Anand Bhayo, etc.
  • Dahi Handi: This is a fun-filled event where young men form a human pyramid and try to break a clay pot filled with curd or butter that is hung high from a rope. This is done to imitate the childhood prank of Lord Krishna who used to steal butter from the houses of the cowherds in Gokul. The participants are called Govindas and the spectators cheer them with slogans such as Ala Re Ala, Govinda Ala, etc.
  • Rasa Lila: This is a theatrical performance that depicts the divine love story of Lord Krishna and his consort Radha and their companions, the gopis (cowherd girls). The actors wear colorful costumes and jewelry and enact various episodes from their lives such as their meeting, separation, reunion, etc. The dance and music are based on the classical styles of Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Odissi, Manipuri, etc.

Janmashtami is a festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, who is the source of all joy and happiness for his devotees. By participating in the festivities, one can experience his presence and grace in one’s life.

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