Krishna Janmashtami , also known as Krishnashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini,Srikrishna Jayanti, Sree Jayanthi or sometimes merely as Janmashtami, is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Krishna, an Avatar of the Hindu deityVishnu.
Krishna Janmashtami is observed on the Ashtami tithi, the eighth day of the dark half or Krishna Paksha of the month of Bhadrapada in the Hindu calendar, when the Rohini Nakshatra is ascendant. The festival always falls within mid-August to mid-September in the Gregorian calendar. In 2010, for example, the festival was celebrated on 2nd September, while in 2011 the festival will be celebrated on 22nd August in North India and on 21st August in South Indian states like Kerala.
Rasa lila, dramatic enactments of the life of Krishna, are a special feature in regions of Mathura and Vrindavan, and regions following Vaishnavism in Manipur. 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 pyramids to reach a high-hanging pot of butter and break it. This tradition, also known as uriadi, is a major event in Tamil Nadu on Gokulashtami.
Janmashtmi will be celebrated this year on August 22, 2011.
Janmashtmi is a much awaited festival in India. It marks the devoted celebrations of Lord Krishna’s birth. The festival of Janmashtami is celebrated by Hindus across the world with immense jubilation and excitement. Dwarka, Mathura and Vrindavan are the places in India which attract the maximum visitors during the festival of Janmashtami. Festival of Janmashtami is also known as Gokulashtami or Krishnaashtami. During celebrations, Shri Krishna idols are bathed and decorated at midnight (The time on which Shri Krishna took birth) and many rituals are performed during the prayers offered to Shri Krishna. Other popular events like Dahi Handi are also held across the state of Maharashtra on Janmashtmi. During this event human pyramids are formed with an objective of breaking the dahi handi (earthern pots filled with curd) which are tied high above the ground.All in all, Janmashtmi is a festival which unites the nation and leaves everyone spellbound with excitement.
When Janmashtami Falls
In 2010, the festival of Janmashtmi will be celbrated on September 2. Janmashtami comes every year on the eighth day in the Month of Shravana (August-September). According to Hindu scriptures, Sri Krishna was born in the “Rohini” star. Janmashtami is celebrated for two days, the first day is called Krishnashtami or Gokulashtami and the second day is called Kalastami or Janmashtami.
Fasting is an integral custom on the festival of Janmashtmi. Most devotees fast for the entire day on Janmashtami. There are two common and popular types of fast undertaken by different devotees,namely:
Phalhaar Vrat: In this fast, only the intake of juices, milk products, tea etc is allowed without cereals. One time food intake comprising of food made with vegetables and “Senda Namak” is allowed.
Nirjal Vrat: It involves total fasting including fasting from water