Sri Krishna Janmashtami Festival Celebration

This article is all about the Srikrishna Janmashtami festival, and the celebration procedures and cultural activities. The name itself suggests that the celebration is of the birthday of the divine Lord Srikrishna. Janmashtami is an important day for all Hindus and especially to the devotees of Lord Krishna. This year the Jaynthi falls on 22 August, 2011.

Krishna Janmashtami on 21-8-2011

Ashtami Pooja

Sri Krishnan is as a Hindu god, an incarnation of Sri Mahavishnu one of the 3 main gods of Hindus. The three are the Lord Brahma who is the creator of the universe, Lord Shiva the destructor and the god of death and Sri Mahavishnu who is the protector, preserver and the administrator. When the people are on the brink of collapse, Lord Vishnu takes birth as an incarnation. There are two types of forces, the benevolent and the harassing. The harassing type is called the Asuras. As per the legend Sri Mahavishnu took birth in the ninth incarnation as Srikrishna. His birth was mainly for the purpose of killing Kamsa his own uncle who was a tyranny to the humans and was a challenge to the gods. Apart from that he wanted to help his cousins the Pandavas to recover their due share from the all powerful Kauravas. The day of birth of Srikrishna was on the Rohini Star day (Nakshatra) and Ashtami thithi the eighth day of the lunar month of Bhadrapada (Sravan, Savan - Chingam). Hence the day is known as the Ashtami Rohini, Janmashtami, Gokulashtami, Srikrishnashtami, Srikrishna Jayanthi or Sree Jayanthi. It is one of the very important days for the Hindus. Every year this day is celebrated as Janmashtami with religious, cultural and social activities. Sri Krishna is considered as the universal teacher (Jagadguru) by all Hindus for his explaining the Bhagavath Geetha to Arjuna and thereby giving the benefit of the nectar of knowledge to the humanity. His life was a practice of his preachings and teachings.

Janmashtami Festival is Celebration

The Janmashtami is celebrated in Karnataka and throughout the country but with some degree of some differences. Karnataka people are very spiritual and there a large percentage of population with people following Vaishnava cult. Hence Srikrishna Jayanthi is celebrated with fervor in the state. States like Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP and Bihar etc celebrate more pomp and color as he was born, brought up and had roles to play in many areas of these states like the Dwaraka, Mathura etc. The lord Krishna was born under extraordinary circumstances. His parents were in his uncle's jail. His uncle Kamsa was waiting for his birth to kill his as soon as he was born. But Srikrishna escaped the plan of his uncle. Since the birth took place during midnight, people celebrate Ashtami in night with dances, Bhajan, pooja and cultural programs etc. As mentioned the festival falls on the Krishna Paksha Ashtami thithi that is the 8th day of Bhadrapada month (which is also the 8th day from the Rakshabandan day – Rakhee tying - sisters tying a red auspicious thread on the wrists of brothers) of Hindu calendar when Rohini Nakshatra is ascendant (Lagna). This will be within the English calendar months from mid August to mid September. This year the festival is on the 22nd of August. There will be a day's difference to the Iyengar Community who celebrate on the next day. Most of the festival in all the religions will have along with the rituals lip smacking food items. Gokulashtami is no exception to this. Since the article is on Srikrishna Jayanthi other aspects are not mentioned.

Janmashtami Puja

For the pooja rangoli will be drawn in rice flour mixed with water and in some cases additionally with saffron color added at the place where pooja will be done. An idol will be kept for services and in many cases another one made of mud for visarjan will also be kept. The idols will be kept on the rangoli specially made for this. The idol for which sevas are to be done will be of metal like gold, silver, panchalohas, bronze or brass according to the status and capacity of the families. Srikrishna mostly in the form of child will be invoked to the idols. The a Shodashopachara (16 sevas – services) will be done. These consisting o bathing with different items (Panchamrit) adorning with bright colored silk cloths, garlands and adorning with ornaments etc will be done. Then pooja will be offered with flowers, incense sticks, lighted camphor, camphor ghee lamp and sambrani (Benzoin Resin) etc and food items will be offered. The food items will be wide and varied items depending on the status and number of people in the family etc. However the minimum items will be of pounded rice (Avalakki), ghud (jaggery), milk, curd, ghee and butter other items of sweets with Khara items like Chakkali (muruku, muchole etc) sweet and Khara cheedas (round hard balls of goli- glass beads size). Limit of the items will be the status and number of members in the family. Everyone in the family will be on upavasa (fast) during day time. After the pooja the prasada (the items offered to the deity) will be eaten breaking the fast.

Other activities

Madka breaking Uriadi

Other than the pooja, there will be group activities. In most places there will be the program of Uriadi – madka breaking – handi breaking. It is same with different names in different places. Here a mud pot with curd will be hung at a very high place like the terraces of two opposite buildings with 3 or more floors. In other places where apartments are not there the madka may be hung on a high pole. The pole will be smeared with oil to make it slippery. Since it is at height, it will not be possible for anybody to break the pot using a very small stick. The y form rings of men holding each others. The ring with more members will be at the bottom. And other rings with lesser members so that the size of the ring get reduced, will climb on to the (shoulders or back) ring with more members and so on in a pyramidal form till the hung madka will be within the reach of the top man with the help of the small sick.


There will be group dances mainly ladies in the south, but of ladies and men in north who will be dancing with claps of hand or small sticks to the tune of the music played with swaying and stepping in a graceful manner. The dance programs are to commemorate the famous Srikrishna leela of rasaleela

Dance Dramas
Some places will have dance drams like Yakshagana and ballets on spiritual themes will be done.

All temples especially the Vaishnava temples and that of Srikrishna will have day long poojas and darshans will go on on the Srikrishna Jayanthi day.

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More articles: Sri Krishna Janmashtami Karnataka Festivals


Guest Author: Sharada22 Aug 2011

A good collection of photos in your article with information. It is a good beginning, keep going.

Guest Author: Ramanathan A R23 Aug 2011

Thank you Madam

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