Janmashtami as it is popularly known in North India, is a festival full of joy. It is celebrated with great pomp and show, the birth of Lord Krishna who was born more than 5000 years ago in the 28th year of Dwapur Yug. It is one of the most celebrated festivals for Hindus not only in India but also, all over the world. Janmashtami is about the joy, people all over the world feel for their beloved Lord Krishna.
It is also known as Krishna Jayanti comes in the month of August-September. Lord Krishna is said to have been born on a rainy and stormy night and it seems as if Lord Varun-God of rain welcomed the lord himself. The trend continues with Janmashtami falling during the peak of rainy season in India.
Reason for Birth
According to Puranas, Krishna is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who took birth to kill the evil king Kansa and free the people of Mathura and other nearby towns from his cruelty and save them.Kansa was the maternal uncle of Sri Krishna who was destined to be killed by the eighth child of his beloved sister Devki.
Dahi Handi or matki fode
Celebration of Janmashtami, birth of the famous Lord Krishna includes a number of ceremonies like, dandia Ras,. Dahi Handi is a popular ceremony, celebrated with lot of enthusiasm and glee. Dahi Handi is an enactment of Lord Krishna's efforts to steal butter from Matka (earthen pot) suspended from the ceiling.People perform the task very greace fully.
Dahi Handi takes place on mid night or on the second day of Janmashtami. An earthen pot containing a mixture of dahi,butter, milk, dry fruits, ghee is hung around 20-30 feet high in the air with the help of a rope. Enthusiastic young men, form a human pyramid by standing one on top of the other, trying to break the matki. Onlookers throw water on the young men in order to prevent them from breaking the matki. Breaking of the matki is followed by prize distribution. Devotees believe that the broken pieces of earthen matki will keep away mice and negative powers from their homes.
Janmashtami in Dwarka
Dwarka, meaning 'Door to Moksha (Salvation)' is a popular city of Gujarat. It was established by Lord Krishna with his elder brother Balram. The city is also known as Golden City. It was built by divine architect Vishwakarma in two days. The city is said to have been made up of diamonds and crystal, with palaces made of gold, emeralds and other precious stones. It was the abode of Lord Krishna for nearly a 100 years. After Lord Krishna's death, the city is believed to have been submerged in the sea.
The celebration of Janmashtami in the main Dwarkadhish temple is very famous in India. Devotees from all over India throng the city of Dwarka during Janamashtami. The celebration on Janmashtami follows the daily routine or 'Nitya Kram' of Lord Krishna. Rituals are performed by Aboti brahmins, who are special brahmins performing these rituals for the past many centuries now.
The day begins with mangla arti in the morning. Mangla arti is always performed early in the morning. Beginning with 'Banta Bhog' (of milk and milk products).
Abhishek or bath
Lord Krishna is given the holy bath and devotees are given a chance to see the abhishek which happens only twice a year. The bath is given right after the mangla arti with Panchamrit (mixture of gangajal, ghee, honey, curd and sugar).
After the bath, Lord Krishna is adorned with clothes and ornaments. Lord is made to wear Pitamber, a yellow coloured cloth. Ornaments consists of Chandanmala, Vyjantimala ( garland) and Suparimala (Made of Betel nut). Makeup on the face of Shri Dwarkadhish is done and he is also adorned with mungat,shankh (Conch), Discus (Chakra) and other ornaments.
Darshan and Shringarbhog
After the shringar of Shri Krishna, the devotees are allowed to do the darshans of the Lord. This is Followed by offering of Shringar Bhog (Sweets).
Shayan bhog and arti
After the evening arti, Lord is offered sweets again, devotees are not allowed ,it is time for Dwarkadhish to sleep.
Time to enjoy!! The festival date will fall on August 22, 2011.