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Aug 22

Written by: Jayanthi
Friday, August 22, 2008

Stories and Legends of Krishna Jayanthi, Janamasthami, Gokulashtami, Lord Krishna's Birthday

 

When is Krishna Jayanthi in 2012? August 10, 2012.
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Lord Krishna entering our home...

Eight days after Rakhi, in the month of August - September (Tamil month, Avani) falls the birthday of Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu, the beloved God of Hinduism.

This day is known by several names depending on where in India you live: Krishna Jayanthi (many parts of south India), Janamasthami (mostly north India), Asthami Rohini (Kerala, as Lord Krishna was born during the Malayalam month of Chingam, during the Rohini nakshatram (star), falling on the eighth day.), while others refer to this day as Gokul Asthami, as Sri Krishna was to arrive (be born) into the town of Gokul on this eighth day.


Legend goes that Krishna’s parents were told by GOD that their 8th son would kill Kamsa, the evil ruler of Mathura. Hence, Kamsa imprisoned his sister and her husband, Krishna’s parents, and killed the first seven babies. Before the eighth baby was born, GOD came to the prison cell and told Krishna’s parents that parents in a place called Gokul were giving birth to a baby girl on the same night.  Krishna’s dad was able to exchange the babies. In the morning, Kamsa tried to kill the baby girl, but the baby girl was spared by and transformed into goddess Yogamaya.


In Chennai, this is celebrated one or two days. In North India, it is celebrated two or three days. Many people will draw footprints with rice flour leading from the main door or door of home shrine room to the alter of Krishna; symbolizing Krishna has come to visit the home.  This is shown to the right (click to see a bigger photo). Also, people will dress up their sons like Krishna and girls like his consort Radha or other gopikas.  Also, people like to play games on this day. In North India, people will make scenes in front their homes akin to the Christian nativity scene, depicting Krishna’s birth in prison.  Additionally, water is a defining part of this festival as when Krishna’s dad took him to Gokul to exchange him, they had to cross a river. As this is during the monsoon season, the rains had flooded the banks of the river. One story denotes that soon as baby Krishna put his foot into the water, it parted and his father could carry him through the river.  People are very creative about depicting a flowing stream of water in their recreations of Krishna’s birth scenery.  When these sceneries are completed, people will walk and visit the neighbors to admire the creativity and originality of each scene.

 Giving the 7 layer salute

Krishna also loved to eat butter and sweets. Hence on this day, in places in North India, a piñata like clay pot is formed with many sweets in it. or with a mixture of poha (flattened rice) and curds (yogurt). This decorated pot is hung from a tree or other high place. The children will stand like a pyramid to see who can reach it and break it. This part of the celebration called Dahi Handi is shown in the photo to the right by Ajoy in Pune, India. They replicate this scene at various Hindu temples in US by stringing this piñata between two posts and giving one large stick. The person with the stick is blind folded and tries to hit the pot. If they are not blind folded and it is warmer out, another person will take a hose and aim it at the person trying to break the pot to break their concentration.

 

 When is Krishna Jayanthi - Janamastami in?
2010 - September 2, 2010

 

 
Related Posts/Sites:  Dahi Handi  

In Janmashtami, Ammupatti answers two questions: (1) Why do some communities celebrate Krishna Jayanthi before or after the majority of Hindus? (2) Included in this, why I had not seen Krishna Jayanthi listed on my Kerala (Malayalam) Calendar for August 13 or 14 (2009) when others were celebrating on these days?



Krishna Jayanthi celebration and Sweet Aval (poha/flattened rice) by Nithya

What special foods (meals, snacks, sweets) are made for Krishna Jayanthi (Facebook discussion)?

Want to know when is Krishna Jayanthi in 2012, 2013, 2014 and beyond? Follow my India America Interfaith and Social Calendar!

 

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updated August 2009, December 2011

 

When is Krishna Jayanthi and other Hindu holidays this and upcoming years?  Follow the
India America Interfaith and Social Calendar                                                 

Copyright ©2008 Jennifer Jayanthi Kumar

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7 comments so far...

Re: Krishna Jayanthi - Birthday of Lord Krishna

Happy Kirshnashtami.

By Devi on   Sunday, October 12, 2008

Re: Krishna Jayanthi - Birthday of Lord Krishna

Thank you, Devi.

By admin on   Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Re: Krishna Jayanthi - Birthday of Lord Krishna

On your website you have described Krishna birth, interestingly in folklore the girl child who was exchanged is Vinzai devi.
The main temple dedicated to Vinzai devi is in Uttar Prades at Mirjapur called Vindeshvari temple.
She is also known as yogamaya, the one who teaches yoga which gives deliverance.
In Uttar Pradesh at Krishna's birthplace there are number of temples dedicated to Yogamaya.
A small community migrated form UP to Maharashatra where her temple is presently based ( at tamhini).
There is a beautifully painting by Raja Ravi Verma which depicts this story. Perhaps you could link the two stories on your site.

More on Vinzai Devi...

By Ajoy (via Jayanthi) on   Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Re: Krishna Jayanthi - Birthday of Lord Krishna

This is such a lovely post. :) I loved the video. :) thats a very cute attempt. I would say its nearly perfect.

My tips to make it look best is :

1) add more water to the rice flour paste so that it does not form peaks on your prints. It really can be watery. The entire foot print would be flat enough that you can walk over it without rubbing it off too.

2) Use 1 tsp of maida(all purpose flour ) along with rice flour to make the paste. This would give you a clean one. It wont crack soon because of the stickiness of the all purpose flour.

3) Use both your hands, but one at a time. finish off the right foot completely and then go to the left. Once all of it is done with the base, go for the fingers. Even for this, keeping the paste watery could really make it look neat since it spreads decently than thick paste.

Anyways you really rock Jenny.. I am becoming your fan these days. :)

Nithya
www.4thsensesamayal.blogspot.com

By Nithya on   Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Re: Krishna Jayanthi - Birthday of Lord Krishna

Nithya..HI!
Thank you for the great tips. I regret I did not come even sooner to see this and respond, but I can use these tips for next year!! Great thoughts, esp adding the maida in the batter.. You are right !!!

I also of course love your blog. Thanks for spending time here!

By admin on   Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Re: Krishna Jayanthi - Birthday of Lord Krishna

I want to know that whether in 2010 the lord will b born on night of wednesday or thursday?

By Renu on   Thursday, September 02, 2010

Re: Krishna Jayanthi - Birthday of Lord Krishna

Renu, HI. My Indian friend suggested to me that the birthday happened Thursday 12am.

By admin on   Thursday, September 02, 2010

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