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Krishna Janmashtami

Krishna Janmashtami (Devanagari कृष्ण जन्माष्टमी kṛṣṇa janmāṣṭami), also known as KrishnashtamiSaatam AathamGokulashtami,Ashtami RohiniSrikrishna JayantiSree Jayanthi or sometimes merely as Janmashtami, is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Krishna, an Avatar of the Hindu deity Vishnu.[1]

Krishna Janmashtami is observed on the Ashtami tithi, the eighth day of the dark half or Krishna Paksha of the month of Bhadrapada in theHindu calendar, when the Rohini Nakshatra is ascendant. The festival always falls within mid-August to mid-September in the Gregorian calendar. In 2010, for example, the festival was celebrated on 2nd September, while in 2011 the festival will be celebrated on 22nd August in North India and on 21st August in South Indian states like Kerala[2].

Rasa lila, dramatic enactments of the life of Krishna, are a special feature in regions of Mathura and Vrindavan, and regions followingVaishnavism in Manipur. While the Rasa lila re-creates the flirtatious aspects of Krishna's youthful days, the Dahi Handi celebrate God's playful and mischievous side, where teams of young men form human pyramids to reach a high-hanging pot of butter and break it. This tradition, also known as uriadi, is a major event in Tamil Nadu on Gokulashtami.


[]In Maharashtra

Jay Bharat Seva Sangh (Lower Parel)forming human tower to break the Dahi handi
Govinda Pathaks forming human tower to break the Dahi handi

Janmaashtami, popularly known in Mumbai and Pune as Dahi Handi, by the muslims with enormous zeal and enthusiasm. The handi is a clay pot filled with buttermilk that was positioned at a convenient height prior to the event. The topmost person on the human pyramid tries to break the handi by hitting it with a blunt object mostly nariyal (coconut) is preferred being a sign of purity,truth and other good terms in hindu religion. When that happens the buttermilk is spilled over the entire group, symbolizing their achievement through unity. Various handis are set up locally in several parts of the city, and groups of youngsters, called govinda, travel around in trucks trying to break as many handis as possible during the day.

Many such Govinda Pathaks compete with each other, especially for the handis that dole out hefty rewards. The event, in recent times, has gathered a political flavor, and it is common for political parties, and rich community groups to offer prizes amounting to lakhs of rupees.

Some of the most famous handis are at, DadarLower ParelWorliMazgaonLalbaugThane and Babu Genu, Mandai in Pune.[3]

Cash and gifts are offered for Govinda troops to participate; for over 4,000 handis in Mumbai, 2000 Govinda troops compete for the prizes.

[]In Manipur

Janmaashtami, popularly known in Manipur as Krishna Janma, is a significant festival celebrated at two temples in Imphal, the capital city of Manipur. The first festival is at the Govindaji temple and the second is at the International Society for Krishna Consciousness temple. Devotees of Lord Krishna gather mostly at the ISKCON temple.

[]In North India

In Uttar Pradesh where the lord was born in Mathura, his play ground Gokul and Vrindavan become more crowded and celebrations go up to a week. In Gujarat where the city Dwarka has Dwarkadhish temple celebrates it with pomp and joy.

In the eastern state of Orissa, around Puri and West Bengal in Nabadwip, people celebrate it with fasting and doing puja at midnight. Purana Pravachana from Bhagavata Purana are done from the 10th Skandha which deals with pasttimes of Lord Krishna. The next day is called Nanda Utsav or the joyous celebration of NandaMaharaj and Yashoda Maharaani. On that day people break their fast and offer various cooked sweets during the early hour.

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