India is a land of festivals. Every year a number of festivals are celebrated in India with great joy. One such festival is Janmashtami which is celebrated most widely and with great fun. It is one of the oldest festivals celebrated in India.
It is also famous as Gokulashtami, Shri Krishna Jayanti, and Krishna Janmashtami. The festival is celebrated as the Birthday of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is also famous as Govinda, Balgopal, Manmohan, Murlimanohar, and many other names given to him.
History of Festival
It is believed that Lord Vishnu comes to the earth 8th time as Lord Krishna. He was born in Mathura as a Lord Krishna before 5,200 years ago. The main motive behind the birth is to kill the evils and free the earth. Lord Krishna played an important role in the Mahabharata and narrated famous Bhagat Geeta to the Arjun.
The Janmashtami festival is celebrated on the 8th day of Krishna Paksha which falls on the day of Ashtami. This date falls in the month of August and September.
Birth History of Lord Krishna
Lord Krishna was born as a child of Vasudeva and Devaki. When the king Kansa hears the prediction that he will be killed by the 8th son of his sister then he locked both of Vasudeva and Devaki in the Prison of his kingdom.
The Evil Kansa kill all the 6 children of the Vasudeva and Devaki. The 7th child was sent mystically to the Princess Rohini womb, who was living in the Vrindavan. He was named as Balram who then becomes the Lord Krishna’s elder brother. The 7th child was then declared as a Miscarried to the king Kansa.
During the birth of the 8th child of Devaki, Vasudeva transferred the child to Nanda and Yasoda house located in the Vrindavan. He took the girl child from their house along with him. He thinks that the Evil Kansa will not kill the Girl Child.
The Evil Kansa, on the other hand, throw the girl child and the girl takes the form of Goddess Durga and then predicts in the air that the 8th child is already born somewhere.
There are various stories about Lord Krishna as he was grown up in the Vrindavan. He was cared for by the Mata Yasoda. He was famous as Makhan Chor as he loves it too much. He saves the life of many people as he kills a number of demons.
It is believed that Lord Krishna Born in the dark, windy and stormy night. So the celebration of the festival starts at the midnight time. This festival is celebrated in the whole parts of the country.
The devotees sing devotional songs, dance, and do aartis and many other things. A cradle is used to keep the little lord Krishna. The Little Lord Krishna is beautifully decorated with little clothes, flowers, and lights. Everybody gives swing to Lord Krishna.
This festival is celebrated with great joy in the Vrindavan and Mathura. On this occasion, everyone used to decorate the temples and their home with balloons and flowers.
Many people used to take a fast from the whole day till midnight. People celebrate the Janmashtami festival in the temples or in their homes by reading the Bhagavad Gita, singing bhajans and dance. Many People organize Rasa Lila in the Theatre.
Many people celebrate the festival by organizing the Butter stealing task. In this task, a Handi of Dahi is tied at a height of 20 to 30 feet. That handi is then broken by a group of people by making a Pyramid. The boy breaks it is called as Govinda. On the next day, people distribute gifts or sweets to their loved ones as this day is celebrated as Nanda Utsav.
The story behind the Chappan Bhog
People used to offer 56 or Chappan bhog to Lord Krishna which includes all the favorite dishes of Lord Krishna. The thali of Bhojan is decorated beautifully with 56 different dishes. These dishes are then distributed to the devotees.
There is a famous story behind the Chappan blog presented to Lord Krishna. Once Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan parvat with his little finger and protects many people from the heavy Rainfall. People present 8 different dishes to Lord Krishna every day for continuously seven days. At the end of the seven days, people offer 56 different favorite dishes to Lord Krishna.
The aim of the Janmashtami festival is to encourage the goodwill over the bad one. It is a festival of togetherness. The festival of Janmashtami unites all the people.