Date, Timings, Fasting, Significance And Celebrations: Know all about Janmashtami rituals

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Krishna Janmashtami 2018, also called Janmashtami and Gokulashtami is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, believed to be the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu.
Krishna Janmashtami 2018, also called Janmashtami and Gokulashtami is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, believed to be the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu.

Krishna Janmashtami 2018, also called Janmashtami and Gokulashtami is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, believed to be the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. To celebrate the day, Lord Krishna temples are decorated, processions, bhajan, kirtan and satsang meetings are organised at various places to remember him and celebrate his birth.

Major Krishna temples organise recitation of holy books Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita. This year, there has been a confusion over theKrishna Janmastami date, while some say it is September 2, Sunday, some are celebrating it on September 3, Monday. To clear the confusion, here are the exact timings for Krishna Janmasthami.

Krishna Janmashtami date: This year, Krishna Janmashtami will be celebrated on September 2 and September 3. But most people are celebrating it on September 3, Monday.

Krishna Janmashtami timings: Timings for Krishna Janmashtami would  be 8:47 pm on September 2 to 7:20 pm on September 3.

Since the pooja (jaagaran) is performed in the night during Krishna Janmashtami, the timings for “Nishith Kaal Poojan” would be 11:57 pm on September 2 to midnight 12:48 am

It is believed that Lord Krishna was born in an era of chaos, when evil was everywhere. There was also threat to his life by his uncle King Kansa. After Krishna’s birth, his father Vasudeva took him across Yamuna to Nanda and Yashoda – his foster parents in Gokul. This legend is celebrated on Janmashtami festival.

Devotees of Lord Krishna observe fast on Krishna Janmashtami. Lord Krishna’s idols are cleaned and decorated with news clothes and ornaments. The idol is placed in a cradle to symbolise his birth. Women also draw tiny foot prints outside their house doors and kitchen, walking towards their house, a symbolism for Krishna’s journey into their homes.

Krishna Janmashtami is followed by the festival Nandotsav, which celebrates the occasion when Nanda Baba (foster-father of Lord Krishna) distributed gifts to the community in honour of his birth.

Janmashtami is the largest festival in the Braj region of north India – Mathura – where he was born, and in Vrindavan where is believed to have grown up.
HOW IS KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI CELEBRATED?
  • To celebrate the festival, all the Lord Krishna temples are decorated, processions, bhajans, kirtan and satsang meetings are organised at various places to celebrate his birth.
  • The majority of temples organise recitation of holy books, Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita
  • The celebration takes place in two parts, Jhulanotsav and Ghatas. During Juhlanotsav, Krishna devotees put swings in their homes and place God’s idol inside. Then, the idol is bathed in milk and honey and adorned with jewellery and new clothes
  • The popular ritual of ‘Dahi-Handi’ is also celebrated on this day. Boys gather in a compound and form a human pyramid to break the earthen pot fixed at a height of 20-30 feet from the ground. The boy who stands at the top is called Govinda and the groups are either called handis or mandals
  • Devotees also observe a day-long fast on Krishna Janmashtami and break it on the next day when the Ashtami Tithi is over. Throughout the day, no grains are consumed. The devotees take a meal comprising of fruits and water, called ‘phallar’

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