Janmashtami, the day of appearance of Lord Krishna on Earth, is one of the most popular Hindu festivals. This year, the Janmashtami will be celebrated on 15th August.
Krishna is considered to be one of the most powerful human incarnations of the Lord Vishnu. Born in Mathura, the objective of his incarnation was to free the Earth from evil. He killed his mama Kans (paternal uncle) who had kept his parents in captivity since their marriage as there was a prophecy that their eighth son will kill him. Krishna played a very important part during Mahabharata where he become “Saarthi” of Arjuna, guiding him about the Dharma (religion). His teachings to Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra have been written in “Bhagavad Gita”.
Devotees of Lord Krishna observe fast on the Janmashtami, which is generally opened the next day. They take only “phallahaar” – eating only fruits for food.
Preparations for Janmashtami start a few days before the Janmashtami. Krishna temples are decorated with hangings, flowers, decorative items and balloons. On Janmashtami, Krishna Abhishekam is done with milk, curd, ghee, honey and water. Lord Krishna is offered new colourful dress, pearls and jewellery. A jhula (swing) is prepared in temples, which is beautifully decorated with flowers, hangings and various other items. An idol of Baby Krishna, lovingly called “Laddu Gopal” is kept in it and devotees swing it lightly to show their love to the new born Krishna. Devotees also dress up their little children as Krishna.
Special meal of “Chappan Bhog”, containing 56 items of food, is offered to Lord Krishna on this day. The meal includes fruit chaat, dry fruits, chapati or Poori, rice preparations, Laddoo, vegetables, pickles or chutney, makhan mishri, kheer, malpua, mohanbhog, curd or raita, khichadi, etc. After offering the food to Lord Krisha, it’s distributed among devotees as Prasad.
May Lord Krishna bless us all. Happy Janmashtami!