Janmashtmi is one of the well known festivals in India. It is widely celebrated in various parts of the country and especially in various places in North India. Plenty of people take part in Janmashtmi and enjoy themselves to a great extent.
Janmashtmi is also known as Krishna Janmashtami and is celebrated by the people of the Hindu community. It is dedicated to the birth of Lord Krishna, who is considered as the avatar of god Vishnu.
Janmashtmi festival is held on the eighth day of the dark half or Krishna Paksha of the month of Shraavana according to the Hindu calendar. The Rohini Nakshatra ascends during this period. The festival falls between August and September.
Prior to the day of festival, people maintain fast and stay awake at night. Janmashtami is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Krishna. It was on this auspicious day that the Lord was taken to Vrindavan by his father where he was taken care of by Yashoda. During the time of mid night, the deity of infant Krishna is put is a cradle and worshipped. The cradle is beautifully decorated with flowers and traditional jewelry. After the worship is over, the priests offer aarti, a special prayer with fire.
On the day of the festival, women dress themselves in traditional sarees and decorate themselves with traditional jewelry. Patterns are drawn on the feet of the children to symbolize them as the infant Krishna. It is dedicated to the entry of the infant Lord Krishna to his foster-home.
After the initial rituals are over, widespread celebrations take place. The devotees go to the temples of Lord Krishna and offer pujas and distribute the prasad among everybody. Sweets and laddoos are offered to Lord Krishna and are later distributed among other devotees and poor people. People exchange gifts and greetings between family members, relatives and friends.