Janmashtami 2021 – In the year 2021 Janmashtami is celebrated on 30th August 2021.
The Eighth day of Shravan (Krishna Paksha) is the day Lord Vishnu chose to appear on earth in his eighth Avatar. This day is joyfully celebrated as Krishna Janma or Gokulashtami. Though the festival is celebrated across India, Mathura and Vrindavan are places of special note, as Lord Krishna was born at midnight to Devki Mata and Vasudev in a tiny prison cell in Mathura.
Auspicious Times and Date on Janmashtami
Nishita Puja Time – 12:17 AM to 01:03 AM, Aug 31
Duration – 00 Hours 46 Mins
Dahi Handi – 31.08.21
History Of Janmashtami – Story of Shri Krishna’s Birth
The city of Mathura had been founded by Shatrughna, Shri Rama’s younger brother in the Treta Yuga. It was then known as Madhuvan. Centuries later Mathura was ruled by Kansa, an evil king. Kansa was Devki Mata’s brother. An astrologer had predicted that Kansa would be killed by Devki Mata and Vasudev’s eighth son. He had killed all their previous children and now when the eighth child was to be born, Devki Mata and Vasudev were imprisoned.
On the eighth day of Shravan Krishna Paksha, Shri Krishna was born in a tiny prison cell in Mathura. Miraculously, the doors and gates of the prison were open and all guards were asleep that night. Vasudev and Devki Mata escaped and crossed the stormy Yamuna River. Shri Krishna was transported safely to the house of Nandbaba and Yashoda Maiyya in Nandgaon.
Shri Krishna was brought up by Yashoda Maiyya and Nandbaba. He spent His childhood in Brij Bhoomi which includes Nandgaon, Vrindavan, Barsana, Govardhan, Gokul, and other villages. In due course, Shri Krishna killed Kansha and ended the dark days of Brij Bhoomi.
Celebrations in Mathura and Vrindavan
There are nearly 400 temples dedicated to Shri Krishna in Mathura including Krishna Janmasthan Mandir. All of them are lighted up and come alive with joyful enthusiasm on this day. Pujas and rituals are done from midnight till dawn. Raas Leela (The Divine Dance) of Shri Krishna and the Gopis is enacted in numerous places. Other ceremonies include rocking of a cradle with Baby Krishna in it, readings of Bhagavad Gita, and other texts.
‘Makhanchor’ Shri Krishna
Vrindavan is a place where Shri Krishna spent most of His childhood. Here too, there are hundreds of temples dedicated to Shri Krishna. Prem Mandir, ISKCON Temple, Rangji Mandir are just some of them. Krishna Janma is celebrated with the greatest of enthusiasm and gusto. Festivities start nearly a week before the actual date with all of Brij Bhoomi engulfed in joy, harmony, and brotherly love.
Dahi Handi on Janmashtami
Dahi Handi is an indispensable part of the Krishna Janma celebrations. The origins of this event come from the childhood days of Shri Krishna. It is well known to all that He was very fond of butter and would go to any length to get it. Shri Krishna was notorious for stealing freshly made butter from all houses in Nandgaon. To protect their butter, the housewives of Brij Bhoomi started placing their butter in high places or hanging the pot of butter from ceiling beams. But Shri Krishna was not to be deterred. He would get His friend along, form a human pyramid and get the butter! This playful act is now repeated across the country. Teams begin preparing for this well in advance. Dahi Handi is celebrated on the next day (31st August, this year) and is one of the most popular and boisterous rituals of Krishna Janma.
Other Celebrations on Janmashtami
Chhappan Bhog (a feast consisting of 56 dishes) is another popular feature of Krishna Janma celebrations. This feast is first offered to Shri Krishna and then devotees partake of the feast. Grand Abhisheks of Shri Krishna is done in temples and homes. New clothes, plenty of Mithais, and chocolates are taken for granted. Bhajan – Kirtan programs, aartis, and Bhagwat Kathas are also organized.