August 21, 2019 11:35:00 am
Also known as Krishna Janmashtami or Gokulashtami, Janmashtami is an important Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna — the eighth incarnation of Vishnu. While the dates may vary on a region-to-region basis, the festival will largely be celebrated on August 24 (Saturday) this year.
Hindus believe that on this day, at the stroke of midnight, Krishna was born in a dungeon in Mathura where his parents were imprisoned. Owing a threat to his life, he was swiftly and surreptitiously taken to Gokul to be raised by his foster parents Yashoda and Nanda.
According to the Hindu calendar, the festival is said to be celebrated on the eighth day (ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha. Hindus across the world take great joy in enacting the different segments from the life of Lord Krishna. While some indulge in devotional singing, others revel in the customary Dahi Handi act that unfurls on the day. Janmashtami is often followed by Nadotsav, during which, it is believed that his (foster) father Nanda distributed sweets in the community, honouring his birth.
Janmashtami is also celebrated with equal fervour in Nepal, where majority of the population identifies itself as Hindu.
According to drikpanchang.com, the Ashtami Tithi begins from 8:09 am on Aug 23 and ends at 8:32 am on Aug 24, 2019.
The day is marked fasting in appeasement to the lord, exchanging gifts and holding prayers. Lord Krishna’s idols are washed and adorned with new clothes and ornaments. The idol is then placed in a cradle — which symbolises his birth. On this day, women also draw tiny foot prints walking towards their house, a symbol for Lord Krishna’s journey into their homes.
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