Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J for Janmashtmi or Krishna Janmashtmi




Janmashtmi or Krishna Janmashtami is  also known as Krishnashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti or Sree Jayanti is the annual celebration of the birth of the Hindu deity Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu.

Radha Krishna Idol decorated on Janmashtmi

The festival is celebrated on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Bhadrapad (August–September) in the Hindu calendar.

Rasa Lila, dramatic enactments of the life of Krishna, are a special feature in regions of Mathura and Vrindavan, and regions following Vaishnavism. While the Rasa lila re-creates the flirtatious aspects of Krishna's youthful days, 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 curd and break it. This tradition, also known as uriadi, is a major event in Tamil Nadu on Gokulashtami. Krishna Janmashtami is followed by the festival Nandotsav, which celebrates the occasion when Nanda Baba distributed gifts to the community in honour of the birth.

Human Pyramid to break Dahi Handi as part of Janmashtmi Celebration

Mythological Reference

Krishna was the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudeva. Based on scriptural details and astrological calculations, the date of Krishna's birth, known as Janmashtami, is 18 July 3228 BCE and he lived until 18 February 3102 BCE. Krishna belonged to the Vrishni clan of Yadavas from Mathura, and was the eighth son born to the princess Devaki and her husband Vasudeva.

Mathura (in present day Mathura district, Uttar Pradesh) was the capital of the Yadavas, to which Krishna's parents Vasudeva and Devaki belonged. King Kansa, Devaki's brother, had ascended the throne by imprisoning his father, King Ugrasena. Afraid of a prophecy that predicted his death at the hands of Devaki's eighth son, Kansa had the couple locked in a prison cell. After Kansa killed the first six children, and Devaki's apparent miscarriage of the seventh (which was actually a secret transfer of the infant to Rohini as Balarama), Krishna was born.

Depicting Krishna being taken to Gokul by Vasudev

Following the birth, Vishnu ordered Vasudeva to take Krishna to Gokul to Nanda and Yashoda, where he could live safely, away from his Uncle Kansa. Vasudeva took Krishna with him and crossed the Yamuna to reach Gokul. There, everyone was asleep; so he quietly kept him there and returned with Yashoda's daughter. Kansa, thinking her to be Devki's eight child, threw her on a stone. But she rose into the air and transformed into Yogmaya (who is Vishnu's helper) and warned Kansa about his death and disappeared. Krishna grew up in Gokul with his brother, Balram. He then returned to Mathura and killed Kansa with the help of Balram.

Celebrations

Hindus celebrate Janmashtami by fasting, worshipping Krishna 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 readings of the Hindu religious scripture Bhagavad Gita.

Janmashtmi Jhanki decorated in a house

The festival is celebrated with equal enthusiasm at home and in the temples. At home decoration for birth celebration of Krishna is done including kids using relevant material as in Krishna’s birth story, bhajans are played until midnight and then Krishna’s birth is celebrated with dishes and Prasad. Some temples prepare one hundred and eight different food dishes on Janmashtami.

Fancy Dress on Janmashtmi


The festival is one of the biggest religious festivals in the world and is believed to be celebrated by nine hundred and thirty million people around the world--and two million in the US alone. To devotees, it’s Christmas and New Year’s in one, a day of deep spiritual renewal and celebration that effectively finishes an old year and begins a fresh one.



Aditya Sinha
11.04.2016

That’s for today with F. Tomorrow it would be another festival with “G”
List of Other Festivals : Anant Chaturdashi, Akshay Tritiya ,Buddha Purnima, Basant Panchmi, Baisakhi,  ChhathaDiwali/DeepawaliEasterFestival of Breaking Fast - Eid ul FitrGanesh ChaturthiHoli, Id-ul-Zoha or Bakra-Eid

For my parallel second Challenge blog with A pls visit : Let the Soul Pour

For other A to Z challenge blogs visit : A to Z Challenge 2016