Krishna Janma, Janmastami or GokulAstami is a festive ceremony celebrated across India to celebrate the birth anniversary of Lord Vishnu’s eight avatar Lord Krishna. Krishna means one who ‘attracts.’ Krishna Janmashtami is also known as Krishnashtami, Saatam Aatham, Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti, Sree Jayanti or sometimes simply as Janmashtami.

The birthday of Lord Krishna is celebrated on Bhadraba Krishna Astami Tithi i.e. the eighth day of dark fortnight of Bhadraba (AugustSeptember). On the next day i.e. Navami Tithi, Nandotchhaba is observed. From next day i.e. Dashami Tithi onwards certain nitis (rituals) relating to Krishna Lila like Banabhoji, Kolibika, Bakasura and Arghasura Badha, Kaliyadalana, Dhenukamana and Pralambasura Badha are celebrated for some days. On Bhadrava Krishna Trayodasi i.e. the 13th day of this dark fortnight, Jagannath Mahaprabhu and Lord Balabhadra dress like Lord SriKrishna and Lord Balarama or Balabhadra.

Hindus celebrate Janmashtami by fasting and staying up until midnight, the time when Krishna is believed to have been born. Images of Krishna’s infancy are placed in swings and cradles in temples and homes. At midnight, devotees gather around for devotional songs, dance and exchange gifts. Some temples also conduct readings of the Hindu religious scripture Bhagavad Gita. People also celebrates it as Dahi Handi in which a human pyramid is made and they break an earthen pot (handi) filled with buttermilk (dahi), which is tied at a convenient height.

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