New Delhi: Janmashtami, also known as Krishna Janmashtami is a religious festival commemorating the birth of Lord Krishna. One of the most important festivals of the Hindu religion, Janmashtami falls on August 11 this year.
According to the Hindu lunar calendar, Krishna was born on ‘Ashtami’ or the ‘eighth day’ at midnight in the holy month of Shravana.
It is believed that on this day, Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu – the protector of the universe, was born. Lord Krishna was born to kill Kansa, the rule of Mathura, and end his evil kingdom. Ironically, Lord Krishna was born to Devaki – the sister of Kansa. Devaki was married to Kansa’s friend Vasudeva and after their marriage a prediction was made that their eighth son would kill Kansa. Following the prophecy, Kansa had imprisoned her sister Devaki and Vasudeva and killed their seven sons.
However, Kansa was not able to kill Lord Krishna. Following Lord Krishna’s birth, Vasudeva took him Gokul and handed him to his foster parents Nanda and Yashoda. Years later, Lord Krishna visited Mathura and killed Kansa, thus ending his reign of terror.
On this day, devotees of Lord Krishna observe fast in his honour and to seek his blessings. After the midnight on Janmashtami, the devotees wash baby Krishna’s idol and decorate it with new clothes and ornaments and worship him by him in a cradle. Following the puja, the devotees are allowed to break theirs by having some sweets and food.