Janmashtami Special: Check out various ways in which Janmashtami is celebrated across India
Lord Krishna who is believed to be the eighth avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu was born in an era of turmoil, chaos, when evil was reigning everywhere. He proved the prediction right that proclaimed the evil King Kansa will die in the hands of his eighth nephew. Janmashtami also known simply as ‘Gokulashtami’ is celebrated by the devotees to mark the birth of Lord Krishna.
The followers of Lord Krishna are all over India and each state has its own way of celebrating this day. Besides the pujas, this festival is also celebrated in different ways including organising Dahi handi competitions, Raas leela performances across the country. On the occasion of Krishna Janmashtami, we bring to you a list various ways in which this festival is celebrated all over India with great zeal and grandeur!
Maharashtra: Popularly known as Gokulashtami in Maharashtra, it is observed by the celebration of Dahi Handi, a day after Krishna Janmashtami. The festival gets its name from the legend of a baby Krishna, who, according to legend would seek and steal milk products such as yoghurt and butter and people would hide their supplies high up out of his reach.
And in Mumbai, a number of young people, who symbolize Govinda or young Lord Krishna, form a human pyramid that enacts the activities of young Krishna, who is believed to steal all the curd and butter.
Gujarat: People in Dwarka, Gujarat, perform folk dances at temples, sing devotional songs, visit Dwarkadhish Temple or Nathdwara to celebrate the day. The celebration and decorations in Dwarkadish temple are renowned all over the country. Rows of lights brighten up the place, which brings out the festive spirit more and is one of the best among the Janmashtami celebrations in different parts of India. Lord Dwarkadhish is worshipped in his infant form and is adorned with precious jewellery. They even celebrate with a festival like ‘Dahi Handi’ but call it ‘Makhan Handi’.
Uttar Pradesh: Vrindavan and Mathura, the most important places of pilgrimage in India, is where Lord Krishna spent much of his childhood. Notably, it is believed that Krishna was born in Mathura and raised in Vrindavan. Vrindavan, like Mathura, is one of those places that have mythological importance because of their association with Krishna’s life, and celebrates Janmashtami with great zeal. The highlights of Vrindavan is Madhuban, believed to be the Lord’s spot of Raas Lilas, which comes alive during this time. Also, some important rituals take place in temples here, such as Shri Krishna Balram Temple, Rangnathji Temple, Radharaman Temple, Banke Bihari Temple, ISKCON temple.
Similarly, as the legend goes, Lord Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudeva in the kingdom of Mathura. So, as the birthplace of the Lord, Mathura dresses up in the most awe-inspiring way. The festive look becomes even more prominent for the swings as it symbolizes the cradle of Krishna. What is considered as the actual birthplace of Krishna has been converted into a temple called the Krishna Janma Bhoomi Mandir and the main celebrations in Mathura take place here.
Tamil Nadu: Devotees visit temples and chant the name of Krishna the whole day. People decorate the floor with kolams, while Geetha Govindam and other such devotional songs are sung in praise of Krishna. Devotees draw footprints of Krishna from the threshold of the house, which depicts the arrival of Krishna into the house. And the festival in Tamil Nadu is enjoyed with the preparations of sweets, murukku and seeddai to offer to Gokulnandan or Lord Krishna. All the special delicacies are cooked from milk as Lord Krishna loved eating milk products.
Manipur: It is celebrated by the Manipuris with great enthusiasm and devotion. The devotees keep fast on that day and visit temples. The main rush is seen at the Mahabali temple. A kind of festival is arranged there. In other temples also the priests recite stories of the birth and life of Lord Krishna. Performance arts such Manipuri dance form, a classical dance form known for its Hindu Vaishnav themes is showcased on this day.
Odisha: The verses of the sacred book ‘Bhagwad Gita’ are chanted in the temples and, a cradle is put up that the devotees come and swing. And the people of Odisha observe fast on this day and celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna at midnight.
Apeksha News Network wishes you a very Happy Janmashtami!