Krishna Janmashtami (Devanagari ka janmami),
also known as Krishnashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti, Sree Jayanti or sometimes merely as Janmashtami, is an annual commemoration of the birth of the Hindu deity Krishna, the eighth avatar of the God Vishnu.
The Dahi Handi celebrate God's playful and mischievous side, where teams of young men form human towers to reach a high-hanging pot of butter and break it. This tradition, also known as uriadi, is a major event in Tamil Nadu on Gokulashtami.
Hindus celebrate Janmashtami by fasting and staying up until midnight, the time when Krishna is believed to have been born. Images of Krishna's infancy are placed in swings and cradles in temples and homes. At midnight devotees gather around for devotional songs, dance and exchange gifts. Some temples also conduct reading of the Hindu religious scripture Bhagavad Gita.
Janmaashtami/ Gokulashtami ( Marathi- ), popularly known in Mumbai and Pune as Dahi Handi, is celebrated with enormous zeal and enthusiasm. The handi is a clay pot filled with buttermilk that is positioned at a convenient height prior to the event. The topmost person on the human pyramid tries to break the handi by hitting it with a blunt object. Mostly nariyal (coconut) is preferred being a sign of purity, truth etc. in Hinduism. When that happens the buttermilk is spilled over the entire group, symbolizing their achievement through unity. Handis are set up around the city, and groups of youngsters, called Govinda Pathaks, travel around in trucks trying to break as many handis as possible during the day.
Many such Govinda Pathaks compete with each other, especially for the handis that dole out hefty rewards. The event, in recent times, has gathered a political flavor, and it is common for political parties and rich community groups to offer prizes amounting to lakhs of rupees.
Some of the most famous handis are at Dadar, Lower Parel, Worli, Mazgaon, Lalbaug, Thane and Babu Genu, Mandai in Pune.
Cash and gifts are offered for Govinda troops to participate; for over 4,000 handis in Mumbai, 2,000 Govinda troops compete for the prizes.
Rasa Lila in Manipuri dance style -- Manipur
Janmaashtami, popularly known in Manipur as Krishna Janma, is a significant festival celebrated at two temples in Imphal, the capital city of Manipur. The first festival is at the Govindaji temple and the second is at the International Society for Krishna Consciousness temple. Devotees of Lord Krishna gather mostly at the ISKCON temple.
Northern and Eastern India
Places in Uttar Pradesh associated with Krishna's childhood, such as Mathura, Gokul and Vrindavan, attract visitors from all over India, who go there to participate in the festival celebrations. People in the city of Dwarka in Gujarat, where Krishna is believed to have established his Kingdom, celebrate the festival by visiting the Dwarkadhish temple. In Jammu, kite flying is an important part of the celebration on his day.
In the eastern state of Odisha, in the region around Puri and in Nabadwip, West Bengal people celebrate Janmashtami by fasting and worship till midnight. Purana Pravachana from the Bhagavata Purana are recited from the 10th Skandha. This section deals with pastimes of Lord Krishna. The next day is called Nanda Utsav or the joyous celebration of Krishna's foster parents Nanda and Yashoda. On this day, people break their fast and offer various cooked sweets during the early hours.
In Southern India, floors in houses are decorated with footprints made from flour, to symbolize Krishna's childhood sport of stealing butter from houses.
Eighty percent of the population of Nepal identify themselves as Hindus and celebrate Krishna Janmaasthimi. They observe fast till midnight. They enchant Slokas from the Bhagavad Gita and sing religious songs called bhajans. The temples of Lord Krishna are decorated and bhajans and kirtan are sung or played. The Krishna Mandir in Patan Durbar Square, Narayanhiti Krishnamandir and other temples of lord Krishna are the centers for festivities in Krishna Janmaasthimi. Numerous devotees flock to the ancient Krishna temple in old Patan Durbar Square to keep vigil through the revered night of his birth. Sitting closely together, people's bodies rock as women chant the many names of Lord Krisha, Narayan, Narayan and Gopal, Gopal. Some sing hymns, others clap their hands, while some pray. Crowds of men and women edge their way slowly up narrow steps through the seated devotees to the temple's dark interior to where the main idol stands. There they offer flowers, coins and food and wait for a glimpse of Krishna Janmastami festival at Krishna Mandir the idol. After the temple priest gives them prasad they make their way home.
Dates for Sri Krishna Janmasthami 2013
- Hawaii: August 27th 2013
- USA/PST: August 27th 2013
- USA/MST: August 28th 2013
- USA/CST: August 28th 2013
- USA/EST: August 28th 2013
- UK: August 28th 1913
- India: August 28th 2013
- Malaysia: August 28st 2013
- Australia -- WAU: August 28st 2013
- Australia -- SAU: August 28st 2013
- Australia -- NT: August 28st 2013
- Australia -- QSLND: August 28st 2013
- Australia -- NSW: August 28st 2013
- Australia -- ACT: August 28st 2013
- Newzeland: August 28st 2013
- Fiji: August 28st 2013
Gokulasthami 2013: August 28th (All over the world)
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