Janmashtami: History, Significance, Date and Everything You Need to Know

 Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and this year, this is being celebrated on Monday, 30th August

Janmashtami 2021: History, Significance, Date and Everything You Need to Know
Janmashtami 2021: History, Significance, Date and Everything You Need to Know

Janmashtami 2021: India is a land of diverse cultures and festivities. One of the most celebrated and cherished festivals is Janmashtami – the day when Lord Krishna was born. Janmashtami is also known as Krishna Janmashtami and Gokulashtami. This is celebrated on the 8th day of the dark fortnight in the month of July-August (Sravana) in India.

According to popular Hindu mythology, Krishna was the human incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was born to destroy the evil king of Mathura, Kansa, who was the brother of Krishna’s mother, Devaki.

History of Janmashtami

Krishna was Devaki and Vasudeva’ son. He was born on the 8th day (Ashtami) of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada in Mathura. Then, Mathura was ruled by Devaki’s demon brother Kansa. He had a prophecy that Devaki and Vasudeva’s 8th son would kill him and destroy his kingdom.

Kansa admired and loved his sister and his brother-in-law a lot. But upon hearing this prophecy, he swore to kill all their children and leave no room for him to get killed. Kansa successfully killed the first 6 babies. On the couple’s 7th baby, the foetus, who was Balram, magically transferred to Princess Rohini’s womb. Kansa was not able to find it. Upon the birth of the 8th child, the whole kingdom fell asleep. Vasudeva secretly rescued the baby and handed it over to Nand Baba and Yashodha’s in Vrindavan.

To make sure that Kansa does not find the 8th child, the couple got a baby girl in return and offered it to him. When he tried to kill her, the baby transformed into Goddess Durga and warned him against all his evil deeds.

Meanwhile, Krishna grew up in Vrindavan and had no clue about the situation. When he grew old, he learnt the matter and went straight to Mathura. He successfully killed Kansa and was united with birth parents, Devaki and Vasudeva.

Significance of Janmashtami

Temples in Mathura and Vrindavan are dolled up and decorated with flowers and other colourful decorations to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is believed to be born in mid-night in Mathura and grew up in Vrindavan. Since he was believed to be born at midnight, people place idols of baby Krisha in a cradle after bathing, decorating and start the Janmashtami celebrations.

Devotees also stage performances based on Krishna’s life incidents and his acts of bravery, friendship, and commemorate the special bond he shared with Radha. The staging of performances is called Raslila.

In Maharashtra, people play dahi handi where they enact all of Lord Krishna childhood mischiefs. Krishna was famously known for stealing butter from earthen pots. People place the earthen pots at a certain height and form a human pyramid to reach and break them.

Date of Janmashtami 2021

This year, Janmashtami falls on 30th August. Devotees mark this auspicious occasion by keeping a past and offering prayers to Lord Krisha. On this day, people decorate their house with diyas, lights and flowers. Temples too are decorated with candles, diyas, flowers and songs lauding Lord Krishna.

What are your plans for this year’s Janmashtami?

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