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Janmashtami 2017

Home > Mumbai > Community Events | Cultural Events | Festivals | Outdoor
by Komal Narwani (subscribe)
You can find more of my travel, food, and lifestyle articles on my website - Happy weekend!
The deep devotion and faith that Indians possess in different avatars of the divine makes it the land of Gods. It personifies a vibrant and colourful land of happiness, peace and enthusiasm. One such avatar is of Sri Krishna.

janmashtami, krishna, dahi-handi, mumbai

Sri Krishna was born around 5200 years ago in the holy city of Mathura. One of the most powerful human incarnations of the Lord Vishnu, Krishna's birth was to free the Earth from the evilness of demons. His birth is celebrated in the form of Janmashtami (Janma: birth, Ashtami: eighth). The number eight has 2 significances- he was the eighth child of his mother, Devaki and his birth was on the eighth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada (August–September).

Bhagvad Gita, beautifully recites the birth of Krishna on the midnight amid the atrocities by his Uncle, Kans. He was immediately transported from Mathura to Gokul (Vrindavan) for his safety, through the flooded Yamuna River. Thus, on the preceding day of his birth devotees observe fast until midnight, then the idol of Krishna is bathed in milk and water, dressed in new clothes, and worshipped with flowers and offered sweets. The sweet (prasada) is then distributed to the devotees. The devotees celebrate the whole night staying awake until the next sunrise, singing devotional songs of Krishna; making the atmosphere nothing less than sacred heaven. To commemorate this day, devotees also enact the various events of his birth through a series of play, in Mathura.

janmashtami, krishna, dahi-handi, mumbai
Janmashtami celebrations all night

Little Krishna was very notorious as a child. Curd was his favourite sweet. Krishna along with his cowherd boys, playfully stole every bit of curd available in the house and in his neighbourhood. Even the ones that were hung out of their reach by their mothers. This is imitated by the youth on the day after his birth anniversary (especially in Mathura and Vrindavan). The festival is also called as Dahi-handi, as a pot (handi) full of curd (dahi) is hung at a great height and group of young guys or girls form human pyramid to compete with each other and break the pot stealing the curd from it. The enthusiasm and joy that audience share, merely by watching this, cannot be explained in words. It goes without saying that, singing and dancing also forms a part of this celebration.

janmashtami, krishna, dahi-handi, mumbai
Dahi handi

janmashtami, krishna, dahi-handi, mumbai
Dahi handi

janmashtami, krishna, dahi-handi, mumbai
The festive deck up

When you plan your next visit to India during August-September make sure to immerse yourself in this holy festival of Janmashtami.
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