In Hinduism, traces can be found for 33 million gods. Each of them stands for a specific identity and there’s a cosmic reason why people worship so many gods in India.
Among all of them, most are the avatars of Lord Vishnu. If you are accustomed to the whereabouts of Hinduism, you must be aware of the popularity of Lord Krishna, especially among the followers of Vaishnavism.
Just like any other religion in the world, Hinduism has its own dates that are celebrated across territories of the Indian subcontinent. One of them happens to be ‘Krishna Janmashtami’, which indicates the birth anniversary of Krishna.
In this reference, we would like to mention that Lord Krishna was the eighth avatar of Vishnu, and undoubtedly one of the most influential religious deities in Hindu philosophy.
His image is so impactful that many western countries have dedicated temples for worshipping Lord Krishna. If you don’t know already, Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple was a devotee of Lord Krishna during his college days.
When is Janmashtami?
The Indian calendar is based on the lunar cycle, and each of the days is divided into either Krishna Paksha or Shukla Paksha.
A Paksha is comprised of 15 days and each Paksha is referred to as the days on either side of the New Moon or Full Moon.
Krishna Paksha is referred to as the fortnight between the Full moon and the New moon, and this ‘Paksha’ resembles the beginning of a new era of light.
So, on the 8th day of the Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of ‘Shraavan’, was Lord Krishna born. According to the Gregorian calendar, this ceremony is observed during the time frame between August and September.
Janmashtami 2023 Date
- Krishna Janmashtami 2023 – Wednesday, September 6
- Krishna Janmashtami 2024 – Monday, August 26
- Krishna Janmashtami 2025 – Friday, August 15
- Krishna Janmashtami 2026 – Friday, September 4
Considered to be one of the biggest festivals in India, Krishna Janmashtami is also referred to as ‘Gokulashtami’ or simply ‘Janmashtami’.
This day is considered to be the holiest day for the Vaishnava religion. During this holy occasion, numerous religious ceremonies are conducted across the length and breadth of the country and even in several foreign territories.
In several Hindu Puranas, Krishna’s life has been depicted as an epitome of celebration, joy, love, etc. His disciples ensure to follow certain customs to devote their prayers to their Lord.
On Janmashtami, Krishna’s disciples spend the entire night without touching any form of food, just to celebrate the birth anniversary of Krishna.
Several traditional dances and songs are also been carried out to mark the day to be an agent of prosperity and joy.
The Story of Krishna & Kansa
Anyone who knows about Krishna must have also come across the religious customs that are undertaken during this auspicious occasion.
But how did this special ceremony come into existence? Legend has it that Lord Vishnu was sent to earth in the form of Krishna to fight the evil forces.
Krishna’s mother Devaki had a brother, ‘Kansa’. He had imprisoned his father in order to rule the kingdom of Mathura.
A prophet had warned Kansa about a heavenly dream that interpreted that Devaki’s eighth son would be the reason for Kansa’s fall. Afraid of losing power, Kansa imprisoned Devaki and also slaughtered 6 of her children.
When Krishna was born, Vasudeva, his father, took him to Gokul by crossing the treacherous eaves of the Yamuna River. Kansa was unaware of Krishna’s birth until the day arrived when he had to lose life in hands of the Lord.
Janmashtami resembles the success of good powers over evil forces. It is said that whenever the balance between good and evil is hampered due to the rise of excessive evil power, Lord Vishnu appears in the form of a human to fight away evil. Krishna Janmashtami is the celebration of the occasion when all the evil roots are diminished from the surface of the earth.