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Gokulashtami, Srijayanti and Krishnasthami

  • Gokulashtami

Highlights

  • The birthplace of Krishna, Mathura and Vrindavan celebrate this occasion with great enthusiasm and splendor
  • Singing and dancing is marked as the celebration of this festive all over northern India.

This festival is celebrated all over India in the Hindu month of Shravan (August/September) on the 'Ashtami' or the eighth day of Krishna Paksh or dark fortnight. Janmashtami is also known as Gokulashtami, Srijayanti and Krishnasthami. The day is celebrated with great zeal and devotion. The Lord Krishna devotees observe fast for the entire day and night, worshipping him and stay vigil throughout the night listening to his tales, reciting hymns and singing devotional songs from the Gita.

Celebration    
The birthplace of Krishna, Mathura and Vrindavan celebrate this occasion with great enthusiasm and splendor. Religious plays or Raslilas are performed to recreate events from the life of Lord Krishna and to honor his love for Radha. Devotees gather to these pious places to celebrate Janmashtami. On this auspicious day, homes and temples are decorated and illuminated beautifully. Singing and dancing is marked as the celebration of this festive all over northern India. At midnight, the figurine of infant Krishna is bathed and laid in a cradle, which is rocked, amidst the ringing of bells. In the state of Maharashtra, people enact the Krishna's childhood attempts to steal butter and curd from earthen pots which were beyond his reach. A similar earthen pot is suspended high above the ground and groups of people form human pyramids and try to reach the pot and break it. The town of Dwarka in Gujarat which is Krishna's own land witnesses hordes of visitors gathering here for celebrations.Places in Uttar Pradesh that are associated with Krishna's childhood, such as Mathura, Gokul and Vrindavan, attract visitors from all over India, who go there to participate in the festival celebrations.People in the city of Dwarka in Gujarat – where Krishna is believed to have established his kingdom – celebrate the festival by visiting the Dwarkadhish temple. In Jammu, kite flying is an important part of the celebration on his day.

In the eastern state of Odisha, in the region around Puri and in Nabadwip, West Bengal people celebrate Janmashtami by fasting and worship until midnight. Purana Pravachana from the Bhagavata Purana are recited from the 10th Skandha. This section deals with pastimes of Krishna. The next day is called "Nanda Utsav" or the joyous celebration of Krishna's foster parents Nanda and Yashoda. On this day, people break their fast and offer various cooked sweets during the early hours

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