Janmashtami, the birth date of Lord Krishna, is widely celebrated across the country. This year, the auspicious day falls on August 30, Monday. It is one of the biggest festivals celebrated with much pomp and fervour in the country. In Hindu mythology, it is believed that on the day of Janmashtami, Lord Krishna was born. Therefore, it is an auspicious day of great significance for the devotees of Lord Krishna.
People worship Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, on this day. Krishna was born on the eighth day (ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Bhadrapad. The day is known by different names like ‘Gokulashtami’, Krishnashtami’, Ashtami Rohini’, Sree Jayanthi’ and Srikrishna Jayanti. Janmashtami is especially marked with much enthusiasm in Mathura (which is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna), and in several parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat. The festival is also celebrated in the northeastern states like Assam and Manipur. The origin of the festival is rooted in mythology. The story has it that Lord Krishna’s uncle, King Kansa, wanted to kill him as the former was told that Krishna is the one who would kill him. And so, as soon as Krishna was born, his father Vasudeva took him across the Yamuna to Gokul where he was raised by foster parents Nanda and Yashoda. Janmashtami, therefore, not just marks Krishna’s birth but also his victory over King Kansa. According to Hindu shastra, this Janmashtami fast is considered ‘Vratraj’, meaning– keeping a fast on this day fetches better results than keeping on any other the entire year.