Janmashtami is Lord Krishna’s birthday, and is joyfully celebrated by devotees all over the world. This festival is one of the most popular because Lord Krishna is one of the most beloved deities.
Lord Krishna was born at midnight on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the Hindu month of Shravan (falling in either August or September). Devotees usually fast all day and then a celebration at night, throughout the day and night they worship Krishna, sing devotional songs and discuss his teachings and tales.
There is also a fun thing that happens here in Maharashtra, Dahi Handi. When Krishna was a child he was very cheeky and mischievous, he would steal butter and curd when no one was watching. To prevent the butter and curd going missing, the pots were put high up, out of Krishna’s reach. Krishna was smarter than that, he would pile up wood and pick holes in the pots so the delicious contents would pour out, into his mouth.
Dahi Handi is this childhood mischief reenacted on a large scale. Clay pots filled with buttermilk are hung at a height and a human pyramid is formed to break the pot, but these pots can be put really high up and the human pyramids can become huge and dangerous. I didn’t get to see any Dahi Handi this year, maybe next time, if its not too nerve wracking.
We went to a Janmashtami celebration at an uncles house, the decoration and the temple they had made were absolutely fabulous!!
I am hoping to have a Janmashtami celebration in our house next year. Krishna introduced me to Indian philosophy when I started reading the Bhagavad Gita, years before I met my husband. Many of our first conversations were about Krishna so he has a special place in both of our hearts.
Happy Janmashtami, everyone!