The grandeur of Janmashtami, Lord Krishna’s birth anniversary

Enactments to human pyramids, big celebrations across India


News - India & You

August 25, 2016

/ By / New Delhi

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Raas Lila in Manipuri dance style

Raas Lila in Manipuri dance style

Lord Krishna, a Hindu deity believed to be born in Mathura in North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is widely worshipped throughout India. On his birth anniversary, called Janmashtami, people celebrate the occasion in myriad ways, from fasting to organising ‘dahi handi’ – an event where people form a human pyramid to reach a buttermilk-filled earthen pot tied at height and break it.

The occasion of Lord Krishna’s birthday is one of the major events in India. Celebrations take place in schools, households, and temples by enacting scenes from his life, singing religious theme songs, and participating in ‘dahi handi’ programmes. Organised in open spaces with grand attractions like dance performances, the festival is celebrated in states in splendid manner.

According to the mythological tale, Devaki, Lord Krishna’s mother, was imprisoned by his brother believing that her 8th child would be his destroyer. Lord Krishna’s father, Vasudeva, who suffered the loss of seven daughters being killed by his brother-in-law, escaped from prison with the help of Lord Vishnu and carried his son, the 8th child, to his friend Nanda who would ultimately lead his uncle to destruction.

Raas leela, a tale describing Lord Krishna’s journey, is staged in temples in days leading upto the main occasion of Janmashtami. Lord Krishna is admired together with his lady love, Radha. Believed to be adored by every girl in his village – when he used to play his flute, all the girls (gopis) would gather around and dance to his tunes – Krishna is remembered for his love for Radha.

Small children are dressed up like adolescent Lord Krishna, and people visit lavishly decorated temples to worship and seek blessings of their Lord. In Pune, a charitable trust organised only all-women ‘dahi handi’ as women don’t get to participate in the event. Also, people made magnificent sand sculptures to display their happiness.

While many take up fasting, the people in Vrindavan town of Mathura celebrate by feasting upon sumptuous food all day long, especially milk based sweets, since Krishna was the notorious ‘’makhan chor’’, the butter thief!



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