Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations in India - Krishna Jayanti

Krishna Janmashtami or Sri Krishna Jayanti is one of the most popular festivals celebrated by Hindus in India. Also known as Ashtami Rohini or Gokula Ashtami, Krishna Janmashtami festival is celebrated as the Birthday of Lord Krishna, one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. In 2020, Sri Krishna Janmashtami festival is celebrated on 10 September.

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Krishna Janmashtami in Maharashtra

Sree Krishna Janmashtami is popularly known as Dahi Handi in Mumbai and Pune, and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Handi is an earthen pot filled with buttermilk or curd which is placed high above the ground. Groups of youngsters called Govinda Pathaks form human tower to break the Dahi handi and the uppermost person of the pyramid tries to break the handi. When it is broken, the buttermilk/curd is splashed over the whole group, indicating their achievement. You can see numerous Handis in various parts of the city and the Govinda Pathaks go by trucks and try to break the handis during the day. Prizes are offered for the group to participate.

Sri Krishna Jayanti in South India

During the Sri Krishna Jayanti festival, the South Indian women beautifully decorate their houses with Rangoli. Butter and variety of sweet meals are offered to the Lord to please him. Right from the doorway towards the house, they draw models of small children's feet with rice-flour paste. This is done to denote the entry of the infant Krishna to their home. The ritual of reciting the holy Bhagavatam, together with devotional songs and dances, create a pious atmosphere.

Ashtami Rohini Festival in Karnataka

Ashtami Rohini festival is celebrated quite differently in Karnataka, especially by the Madhwas (Vaishnavas) (followers of Sri Madhwacharyaru) and Iyengars or the Srivaishnavas, (followers of guru Ramanujacharya). They keep the idol of Lord Krishna in a decorated mandapam (a wooden square stand) together with a plaid wooden ceiling. On the top of the stand, snacks and sweets prepared for the festival, and fruits, are kept. Rituals are started in the late evening.


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