Shri Krishna Janmashtami is the birthday celebration of Lord Sri Krishna. It is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India by Hindus. The birthplace of Lord Krishna, Mathura dons the most colorful avatar during the Janmashtami festival. The Sri Krishna Janmashtami celebration occurs with equal fervor in most other cities of India that have renowned temples of Lord Krishna. Devotees call him with thousands of names – Krishna, Kannayya, Mukunda, Murari, Venu Madhava, Hari, etc.
What is Janmashtami?
Sri Krishna Janmashtami festival is the celebration of Krishna date of birth. Lord Krishna was born in Mathura, on the midnight of Krishna paksha Ashtami of Bhadrapada month of Lunar calendar (eighth day of Indian calendar in the dark side of the month Bhadrapada). According to the English calendar, the Krishna Ashtami date falls in the months of July-August.
When is Janmashtami?
Sri Krishna Janmashtami’s date is not fixed like any other Hindu festival. Krishnashtami date always follows Ashtami of Bhadrapada month.
The Krishna Ashtami 2022 date is August 18, 2022 (Thursday) and Friday, 19 August. As per the Hindu calendar, 2022 marks the 5249th Birth Anniversary of Lord Krishna. It is a surprising fact about Krishna date of birth that he was born on this tithi thousands of years ago in Mathura, India and we have proof for the same.
When is Janmashtami date 2022 in India?
- The Janmashtami date 2021 in India is 30 August 2021.
- The Janmashtami date 2022 in India will begin on Thursday, 18 August, and ends on Friday, 19 August.
Story about Janmashtami
Shree Krishna Janmashtami celebration is the birthday of Lord Krishna. He was born as the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudeva in a prison where the evil King and brother of Devaki imprisoned them. According to the prophecy of Aakash Vani, the eighth child of Devaki-Vasudeva kills Kamsa. Afraid of this, he decides to put them in prison to kill every child born to them.
As soon as Devaki delivers every child, Kamsa kills them mercilessly. Thus, he kills 7 children. The couple was heart-wrenched where Kamsa would kill their eight children too. Fortunately, Lord Krishna takes birth as the eight children.
He was shifted to Gokula with his Krishna Maya and the help of his father Vasudeva. All this took place at the midnight of Bhadrapada Ashtami. Hence Krishna ashtami date is always on this tithi.
Why we celebrate Janmashtami?
Celebration of Janmashtami is the joy of celebrating Krishna date of birth. He is the most powerful of all avatars of Lord Vishnu. The Bhagavadgita he narrated to Arjuna is the most revered book for Hindus. It is one of the main reasons why we celebrate Janmashtami with so much love and affection.
Lord Krishna is known for his tolerance towards Adharma (bad deeds) and punishing at the right time. Lord Krishna has followers not only in India but also worldwide from many countries. Jains, Buddhists, and foreigners also worship Krishna.
Janmashtami is joyfully celebrated by everyone who follows Lord Krishna and his principles. The importance of Janmashtami thus spans beyond the boundaries and religions.
Various activities related to this festival explain the importance of Janmashtami. Dahi handi, famous among Janmashtami activities, is related to the love of Krishna for butter and curd.
He used to steal pots of creamy curd and butter from the houses of Gopikas in the Brindavan. Along with his gang of friends, he used to break the high-hung butter pots and relish the dairy along with his friends. It is one of the most known facts about Janmashtami.
Alongside, the importance of Janmashtami from the spiritual side is also very high. Devotees fast on this day and spend the whole day in Krishna bhajans and Satsang. They decorate Krishna adorably with new clothes and flower garlands. Devotees gather and read the slokas and stories from Bhagavata, Bhagavad-Gita and Mahabharata. The Janmashtami celebration comes to an end the next day after devotees leave the fast.
For newly married women, the importance of Janmashtami is one of its kind. On this festival, newly married women and mothers draw the little feet of Krishna as if entering the house from the homefront. This signifies that the house will be soon blessed with a baby who is none other than the Little Krishna.
Many families in India practice this drawing and enjoy the feeling of inviting Krishna into the home on this auspicious festival. They prepare coconut ladoos that are favorite for Krishna and offer them to him after the puja.
Facts about Krishna
- Krishna is the eighth avatar of Lord Krishna. Krishna’s avatar was to kill his evil uncle Kamsa along with the Duryodhana clan to establish Dharma.
- The number eight is interestingly associated with Lord Krishna. Sri Krishna was born on Ashtami (the eighth day of the Hindu monthly calendar). It tells the importance of Janmashtami. Krishna has eight wives – Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Kalindi, Bhadra, Mitravinda, Satya, and Lakshmana. Krishna was the 8th child of the Devaki – Vasudeva couple.
- The color of Lord Krishna is dark blue. In fact, the word Krishna meaning is blue and not black. The whole universe is filled with the hues of blue mixed with black. Even the black holes are called Krishna Bilam in Sanskrit that tells the Krishna meaning.
- The 16,000 wives of Krishna were not his physical wives. They are spiritually his wives. It is because once Demon Narakasura abducted 16,000 princesses and kept them in prison. Then Lord Krishna fought him and killed him with the Satyabhama, and released them from prison. For this reason, they consider Krishna as their husband and adore him. It is also the famous reason why we celebrate Diwali.
- The famous love Saga of Krishna and Radha is well known. Interestingly, there is no mention of Radha in Mahabharata or Shrimad Bhagavatam.
- The famous avatars of Vishnu, Rama, and Krishna sound contrary to each other. In Rama avatar, Vishnu leads a simple life in forests and has a single wife. Rama is a human form that has no magical powers of any sort. In Krishna avatar, he has multiple wives and keeps displaying his Krishna Maya (eternal magic).
- Krishna is killed by a hunter when he strikes an arrow to Krishna’s foot thumb assuming him to be a deer. It is a curse given by Sage Durvasa. Durvasa is a great Maharshi known for his short temper. Once when he entered Krishna’s place, Krishna ignored to write butter to Durvasa’s feet and respect him. It angered Durvasa, and he cursed Krishna that he would die because of his foot thumb.
- In the Rama avatar, Rama killed Vali from behind a tree. Then the Karma bounces back to him in Krishna avatar, and he dies because of an arrow from behind a tree.
Krishna Janmashtami celebration ideas
The Janmashtami celebration is a lively and colorful one. The streets don the colors with decorations, and children dress up as Little Krishna and Gopikas.
Here are some Janmashtami celebration ideas for you:
Bhajans at home
Invite your neighbors and spend the time singing songs and performing the bhajans of Lord Krishna. Encourage children to take an active part and the elderly to guide you about Janmashtami celebrations. If you live in a community or an apartment, you can make Sree Krishna Janmashtami celebrations in a more grandeur manner.
It is one of the not to miss Sri Krishna Janmashtami activities. Organize the event and see the happiness and joy on children’s faces as they try to beat the pot of butter.
Lord Krishna is a lover of decorations. Use this Krishna Ashtami festival to decorate the kannayya in its best form. Use bright clothes, flowers, and garlands to bring out the true beauty hidden in the great Lord.
Temples and ISKCON branches celebrate the Krishna Ashtami festival with its fullest grandeur. Once you do puja and Krishna Ashtami celebrations at home, visit the temples along with your kids to teach them why we celebrate Janmashtami.
Kids can relate to Krishna very easily. His fun and brave acts create a lot of curiosity in them. Organize a storytelling competition as a part of the Janmashtami celebration. Alternatively, you can gather kids in your house or apartment and narrate to them stories about Krishna to teach the importance of Janmashtami.
Watch Krishna Ashtami celebrations virtually
Shree Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated in famous temples like Mathura, Puri Jagannath, and ISKCON Delhi in a splendid way. Watch their puja, Rasa Lila, and Dahi handi celebrations virtually through live telecast and experience the festival fully.
Watch Shri Krishna Janmashtami movies
Various Indian classic movies captured the greatness of Krishna and the events of his life. Watch such movies along with the kids to explain to them why we celebrate Janmashtami.
Happy Shree Krishna Janmashtami festival to you all!