Temples are decorated, Streets are alive and sounds of cymbals, gongs, bells and chanting fills in the air as world celebrate the anniversary of the descending of Lord Krishna to Earth. Krishna, considered to be the incarnation of the God Himself by many sacred scriptures and learned of the religion, appeared in Mathura, a small city on the banks of river Yamuna, sometime around 3200 to 3100 BC.(according to both scientific and astrological calculations). Since childhood, He displayed many miracles and wonders and due to His mischievous though enchanting activities, was loved and adored by all. Subsequently, during his teens and manhood, he played a major part in the contentious politics of His distant relations.
Janamashtami, or the appearance day of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great fervor across India. People decorate temples, sing hymns, listen to His tales and exploits and chant His names. Some even observe a fast throughout the day and night. At midnight, the time when Krishna was said to have appeared, devotees observe a vigil, the idol of the Lord is bathed in milk, butter and many other sacred concoctions, while people welcome His “arrival” amidst deafening sounds of bells, gongs, conch shells, chants and songs. The atmosphere across the temples gets absolutely electric as devotees immerse themselves in joy, celebration and devotion.
The scene across His hometown in Mathura and Vrindavan becomes all the more energizing. The day is observed with recreating the Lord’s life in the form of His exploits and actions while devotees from all over the world descend at night to witness His appearance. In south India especially, Janamashtami is celebrated as Dahi-Handi, where youngsters make a human pyramid to reach and break the earthen pot, containing butter and milk and suspended high above ground as the part of the occasion.
Janamashtami remains one of the most awaited festival for Hindus. It also marks the beginning of festival season in India, when a number of other occasions and celebrations like Diwali arrive till the end of the year and the nation erupts in great jubilation and festivity.