The auspicious occasion of Shri Krishna Janmashtami is here! The preparations are in full swing and the devotees are immersed in the utmost devotion of the Lord. Temples are lit, beautifully adorned with fresh flowers etc among various other things.
But have you ever thought, besides Janmashtami or Gokulashtami which is the celebration of Lord Krishna's birth, there are other festivals in the country associated with Kanha?
Today, we tell you which ones:
Shri Krishna is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The festival of Janmashtami is observed according to the Hindi lunisolar calendar. Shri Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated in various ways. At several places, devotees observe fast on Ashtami and break it only after midnight once the Lord is born. The day is marked with singing bhajans, listening to Krishna stories and legends, participate in plays based on the Lord's life amongst other rituals.
Yes! The festival of Rakhi also has a Krishna connection. There are various legends associated with the special day and one of them has it that Lord Krishna cut his finger while flying a kite and blood starts spilling all over. Soon, Draupadi, who considered Krishna has her brother, tore a piece of her saree and tied it around. The Lord was touched by her gesture and promised to protect her always. He ensured her that he will always be present whenever she needs him. This thread of protection connects the brother-sister Jodi in a special bond which is celebrated even today.
In another legend when Krishna cut his finger, Satyabhama and Rukmini are also present there. While Rukmini rushes to get a cloth, Draupadi tores her saree and helps the Lord.
The colourful festival also has a Krishna tale associated with it. One of the legends has it that Krishna was always upset about his skin colour when he compared it with Radha. He used to ask her mother Yashoda about it all the time. Therefore, tired of his questions, Yashoda Maa asks him to colour Radha's face with whichever colour he wants. And the playing of Gulal and celebrating their love marked the festival of Holi.
Govardhan Puja is also known as Annakut—the mountain of food. The festival is celebrated by offering food to the god. The significance of the festival is that Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Hill to save the people of Vrindavan from torrential rains and provided them shelter. The festival is celebrated in remembrance of the Lord existence and people's faith in him. Govardhan Puja is celebrated on the next day of Diwali.
Celebrated majorly in Maharashtra, Dahi Handi is a huge festival where a human pyramid is formed by Govindas (participants) to break an earthen pot of Dahi which is tied on a height. The festival is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and fun where people play with colours, curd and buttermilk. It is celebrated a day after the Gokulashtami and is based on Krishna's love for curd and buttermilk who is also called the 'Maakhan Chor' or 'Laddoo Gopal'.
Celebrate Janmashtami and other festivals associated with Krishna and his leela!