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How is Sri Krishna Janmashtami celebrated by Hindus across the world?

Sri Krishna Janmashtami is popularly known as Gokulashtami / Krishnashtami / Janmastami / Krishna Jayanti. This is one of the most important Hindu festivals that is celebrated by Hindus across the world with much devotion, fervor and enthusiasm.

The festival is celebrated on Sravana Bahula Ashtami day i.e the 8th day after the full moon day in the auspicious Hindu month of Sravana Masam. The festival marks the birth of Lord Krishna - the dark skinned darling of Brindavan. Lord Krishna is believed to be the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was the eighth child of King Vasudeva and his queen Devaki. He was on the 'ashtami' day and His birth star is 'Rohini'

The followers of Lord Shiva or the Shivaites, celebrate the festival on the 'ashtami tithi' i.e the 8th day after Sravana Poornima irrespective of the birth star. While the Vaishnavites or the followers of Lord Vishnu celebrate the festival on the day when it is Rohini nakshatram. Generally, the ashtami tithi and Rohini nakshatram do not fall on the same day and there is a difference of one or two days. Most this important Hindu festival falls in the Gregorian months of August / September.

How is the festival celebrated in India?

As this is one of the most important festivals for Hindus, it is a govt holiday in the country and all the govt offices, schools and public sector offices remain closed on this day. Hindus across the country are involved in enacting various scenes from the life of Lord Krishna and thus enjoy the festival. Most of the schools celebrate the festival in the grandest way by organizing various cultural activities. Students including the toddlers are dressed as Lord Krishna, Radha and Gopikas / Gopalakas, perform dance and are involved in the naughty game of breaking the 'matka' i.e the earthen pot which is hung at a height. Many schools and organisations conduct competitions for children which include fancy dress i.e dressing as Krishna or Radha, Bhagawad Gita recitation etc.

Sri Krishna is believed to be the notorious 'maakhan chor' i.e 'butter thief' or the thief who used to steal butter from various households in his neighborhood. In the olden days butter was kept in earthen pots which was hung from the ceiling. Krishna along with his naughty gang used to enter the houses to steal butter. People enjoy the enactment of breaking the earthen pot at community level. 

Krishna temples in particular are thronged with devotees on this day and some of the staunch followers of Vishnu observe 'Nirjal Upavas' i.e fasting without taking liquid / water, the whole day. Krishna / Vishnu temples across the country and the religious organizations celebrate the festival in a special way. Beautiful idols of Lord Krishna and Radha / Rukmini are decorated with flowers and an infant crawling idol of Lord Krishna is place in a beautifully decorated cradle which is placed on the mandap.  Devotees offer flowers, butter and other offerings like rice flakes to Lord Krishna and swing the cradle for a while. Devotees are involved in Krishna bhajans, singing the glory of Krishna and Radha / Rukmini till midnight.

Date of Sri Krishnajanmashtami: Aug 14 / 15, 2017 (Monday / Tuesday).

Ashtami is from 6:01 p.m on Monday till 3:50 p.m on Tuesday.

Popular Krishna Bhajans / Stotrams / Slokas

Bhajan:
Krishna Krishna Mukunda Janardhana, Krishna Govinda Narayana Hare - 2
Achyutananda Govinda Madhava, Satchidananda Narayana Hare - 2

Radhe Govinda Bhajjo Radhe Gopala  - 2

Shyama Sundara Madana Mohana Radhe Gopala, Murali Manohara Radhe Gopala
Sankha Chakra Gadadhara Radhe Gopala, Murali Manohara Radhe Gopala

Krishna Krishna .....

Listen the melodious bhajan:



Lyrics of Achyutashtakam 
Achyutam Kesavam Ramanarayam Krishna Damodaram Vasudevam Bhaje
Sridharam Madhavam Gopika Vallabham Janaki Nayakam Vasudevam Bhaje -2
Achyutam Kesavam Satyabha Madhavam, Madhavam Sridharam Radhika Radhitam
Indira Mandiram Chetasa Sundaram, Devakinandanam Nandajam Sandadhe

Vishnave Jishnave Sankhine Chakrine, Rukmini Ragine Janakijanaye
Vallavi Vallabhayarchitayatmane, Kamsavidhvansine Vamshine Te Namah
Krishna Govinda He Rama Narayana, Sripate Vasudevajita Srinidhe
Achyutananta He Madhavadhokshaja, Dwaraknayaka Draupadirakshaka

Rakshasakshohitah Sitaya Shobhito, Dandakaranyabhu Punyata Karanah
Lakshmanenanvito Vanaraih Sevito, Agastya Sampujitoradhavah Patumaam
Dhenukarista Kanistakriddveshiha, Keshiha Kansahridvansikavadakah
Putanakopakah Surajakhelano, Balagopalakah Patumaam Sarvada

Vidyududyotavat Prasphuradvasasam, Pravridambhoodavat Prollasadvigraham
Vanyaya Malaya Sobhitorahsthalam, Lohitanghridvayam Varijaksham Bhaje
Kunchitaih Kuntalairbhrajamanananam, Ratnamaulim Lasatkundalam Gandayoh
Harakeyurakam Kankanaprojjvalam, Kinkinimanjulam, Shyamalam Tam Bhahe

Achyutasyashtakam Yah pattedistadam, prematah pratyaham purusah sasprihan
Vrittatah Sundaram Kartrivisvambharas, Tasya Vasyo Harirjayate Satvarm

Listen to the divinely voice of K.J.Yesudas




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