Janmashtami, also known as Krishna Janmashtami is a popular Hindu festival in India, celebrated mainly in the northern, western, and southern parts of the country. It marks the celebration of Lord Krishna’s birthday. Lord Krishna is a popular Hindu deity, who is known to be the 8th and the most powerful incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to Hindu mythology, he was born on a dark and stormy night, on the eighth holy day in the month of Shravan, which as per the Gregorian calendar, falls between the month of July and August. This year in 2017, Janmashtami will be observed on the 14th of August by some section of devotees, while the other section would celebrate it on the 15th of August. Janmashtami is also known as ‘’Gokulashtami’’ in many parts of the country.
Being the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, it is said that Lord Krishna came as the destroyer of everything evil, given the fact that Lord Vishnu is one of the most supreme gods. Also, this makes Lord Krishna, the strongest ever human incarnation of any god.
Since Mathura is the place where Lord Krishna was born around 5,200 years ago, on the day of Janmashtami, Mathura is beautifully lit up and decorated to mark the celebrations of this auspicious day. Other than the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, Janmashtami also marks the retention of goodwill in this world and it is believed that whenever evil will breed on this earth, Lord Vishnu will take an incarnation and come to destroy it.
Vrindavan, a popular Indian city mentioned in many tales of Lord Krishna, marking it as a place of his growing up years too observes the festival of Janmashtami with zeal and grandeur. It is decorated with lights, flowers, and many more items, and the Krishna temples look mesmerizing during this time. Since in most tales, Krishna’s growing years depict him to be a little kid who is very mischievous and often steals butter from the households, on the day of Janmashtami, devotees bathe the idol of Nand Gopal (Little Krishna) with milk and honey, and also put him on a small swing as they pull the string of the swing to cradle little Krishna.
Other than the devotional and cultural programmes, Dahi Handi or Matka Tod competitions are also held during Janmashtami at many local spots, to boost the spirit of everyone during this festival.
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