Janmashtami refers to the birth of Lord Krishna, and it is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion all over India. It is generally celebrated in the month of July or August based on the Hindu calendar. It actually falls on the 8th day of Krishna Paksh or the dark fortnight. Sri Krishna is one of the most popular human incarnations, according to Hindu mythology. He was born in Mathura. The sole objective of his birth was to free the world from the demons and evil spirits. Lord Krishna also finds a mention in the epic of Mahabharata. Even the Bhagwat Geeta mentions him for his theory of Karma and bhakti.
The actual celebration of Krishna Janamashtami takes place during the midnight because he was born on a stormy and dark night in a prison. Devotional songs, dances, puja, aarti, blowing of the conch and rocking the cradle of baby Krishna takes place throughout this auspicious day. Despite the fact that it is celebrated across India, yet Mathura and Vrindavan are the two places where the celebration takes a special approach. After all, Lord Krishna is said to have been born in Mathura and spent his entire life in Vrindavan.
Temples and homes are wonderfully illuminated with lights. Religious mantras are chanted and night long prayers are offered in the temples. Moreover, fasting, bhajans and many other rituals mark the celebration of this auspicious occasion in India. The essence of the celebration lies in jubilating the birth of Sri Krishna with the near and dear ones. This is the ideal time to spread the glory of the great Lord. At midnight, the statue of the Lord is bathed with milk and placed in the cradle. The cradle is beautifully decorated with flowers and lights.
In some parts of India like Maharashtra, people even enact the childhood attempts of the Lord in stealing curd and butter from the pots. A pot is suspended above the ground and young people form pyramids to try to reach the pot. They break the pot and the curd is spread everywhere. This is the fun of celebration of Janmashtami. Hordes of visitors flock to the town of Mathura, where the celebrations are grand. Food is distributed among the poor and needy by several temple authorities. The glory of this Indian festival is popular not only in the country, but also across the world. Even the Iskcon temples spread across the world celebrate this day with pomp and splendor.
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