New Delhi: Krishna Ashtami that marks the birth of Sri Krishna is a very significant and special occasion because Krishna is believed to be the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. His birth is celebrated across the globe by his devotees.
This year, the festival will be celebrated on September 2 and there are some rituals that are performed on the occasion to make it even more special.
Dahi Handi is celebrated in Maharashtra and involves hanging an earthen pot full of curd at a height where a group of people, called the Govindas climb on top of each other by forming a human pyramid to break it. This ritual is performed with a lot of fun, excitement and watching it is a treat to the eyes.
A dance that used to be performed by Lord Krishna along with his beloved Radha and other Gopis in the forests of Vrindavan is called the Raas Leela. On the occasion of Janmashtami, the devotees of Krishna come together and perform the dance ritual. They sing and dance together and celebrate the birth of the Maakhan Chor. There is a 'Daandiya Dance' that takes place where people dance with wooden sticks in their hands.
Bhagavad Gita, the holy book of the Hindus consisting of verses in Sanskrit is a part of the Hindu epic 'Mahabharata'. Lord Krishna was the charioteer of Arjun, the Pandava and played a great role in the epic. One of the rituals is to read the Bhagavad Gita during Janmashtami. People read the Bhagavad Gita and offer their prayers to Shri Krishna who took the Vishwaroopam in the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
Since Krishna is treated as a baby, people shower him with care and love by making his idol rest on a cradle. The cradle is rocked by devotees. He is also offered curd, milk and butter.
A traditional prasad of Dhania Panjiri is made on the auspicious occasion of Krishna Ashtami and is offered to the God, then distributed among the people. It is mainly wheat flour, coriander powder with sugar, ghee and dry fruits. It is a relishing and mouth-watering Falahari dish that is eaten by the people in the form of Prasad. The panjiri is served and distributed as the prasad.