Happy Janmashtami 2021: History, Significance and Dahi Handi Celebration
Janmashtami 2021: Janmashtami festival is widely celebrated across the country and the day marks the birth of Lord Krishna. This year Janmashtami will be celebrated on August 30.
Krishna Janmashtmi Date and Timings 2021
The Ashtami Tithi will begin at 11:25 pm on August 29 and ends at 1:59 am on August 31.
Nishita Kaal Pooja Shubh Muhurat 2021
Krishna was born at midnight during Nishita Kaal. Therefore, this year's pooja timings are between 11:59 pm on August 30 to 12:44 am on August 31.
Rohini Nakshatra timings 2021
Rohini Nakshatra also holds great significance. This year it will begin at 6:39 am on August 30 and ends at 9:44 AM on August 31.
Interesting story behind Janmashtami
Janmashtami is also known as Krishna Janmashtami or Gokulashtami. It is celebrated every year on the eighth day of the Krishna Paksha or a dark fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada according to the Hindu calendar.
Before starting the story do you know why is it celebrated on the eight-day or Ashtami? It is believed that Krishna is the eighth child of his mother, Devaki so, Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated on the eighth day.
According to Hindu mythology, the evil king Kansa ruled Mathura. To extend his empire he married his sister with Vasudeva, the Yadu king. After the marriage, Kansa decided to shower the newlyweds with lavish gifts because he wanted to gain the trust of Vasudeva. But heaven has another plan for them. When he takes the reins of the nuptial chariot, a voice from heaven booms that his evil ways will come to an end by his sister's 8th child.
After knowing about his prophecy, Kansa sends his sister and her husband Vasudeva in a prison. Actually, Kansa wanted to kill Devaki but Vasudeva promised him that he will give all his 8 children in the hands of Kansa if he would spare Devaki's life.
Kansa agreed and one by one he killed all the six children who were born to the couple. For the 7th time when Devaki got pregnant interesting things started happening. Through divine intervention, the seventh child of Devaki is transferred from her womb to the womb of Rohini, Vasudeva's first wife, and in this way, Devaki's and Vasudeva's seventh child was safely born.
When Devaki was pregnant again, Kansa again was anxious to kill the couple's child but God's wish was different. Krishna was in fact the eighth child of Devaki and also an avatar of Lord Vishnu.
When Devaki was going into labour pain, Vishnu appears in her prison cell and informs Vasudeva that his eighth child is an incarnation of himself that is Lord Vishnu and will make an end to the kingdom of Kansa.
That night was dark with thunderstorms and lightning; Vishnu destroys all the locks and puts the guards to sleep. He also gave Vishnu instructions on what he has to do and then suddenly Lord Vishnu disappears.
Vasudeva as per the instructions left the palace by carrying a wicker basket containing his divine son. He crossed the Yamuna into the village of Gokul and exchanges the baby with the newborn baby girl of Gokul's head Nanda and his wife Yashoda.
In this way, Krishna grew up in Gokul and finally killed his uncle, Kansa.
How is Janmashtami Celebrated?
The actual celebration of Krishna Janmashtami takes place during midnight because it is believed that Lord Krishna was born on a dark, stormy and windy night to end the rule of his maternal uncle Kansa. In the whole of India, it is celebrated with devotional songs, people keep the fast whole day, several temples were decorated beautifully dedicated to the life journey of Krishna. Mainly, the Janmashtami celebration at Mathura and Vrindavan is very special as he had spent his life there. The image of Krishna at midnight is bathed in water and milk then he dressed in new clothes and worshipped. Sweets are first offered to God and then distributes as Prasada.
Also, on this day people hang pots of butter and milk in the streets on the poles, men form pyramids reach and break the pots. It is famous as Dahi Handi. This predicts Krishna's childhood days when he used to play with the cowherd's boys and stole curds hung out of reach by their mothers. So, he was also known as ‘Makhanchor’, the one who steals butter. People sing and dance in groups.
So, now you may have come to know about the interesting story behind the Janmashtami festival and how is it celebrated.
Happy Krishna Janmashtami!