History of Janmashtami
According to Hindu mythology, Janmashtami is dedicated to the birth of Lord Krishna in the holy Mathura town of North India. Puranas details the saga connecting the magical deeds of the Lord and service to mankind. It is said that Krishna was the eight child of Devki, the sister of cruel Kansa. A heavenly prediction on the wedding day of Devki said that Kansa will be killed by Krishna and owing this it was ordered to kill Lord Krishna immediately after his birth. Vasudev(Devi's Husband), in order to save his child from the cruel hand, smuggle the child safely in a basket and handover Krishna to his friend Nand in Gokul.
Devotees belief to keep water less Janmashtami fast (Nirjal Upavasa), whole day and after offering prayer to the Lord , they intake milk and fruits at the midnight after the birth time of Lord Krishna so as to break the fasting session. People prepare special Janmashtami recipes like 'Kheer', 'Pedhas' etc and some refrain from having salty items and cereals on the festive occasion.
The ISKCON temples, set up all over the world is a must visit site in the day of Sri Krishna Janmashtami. The temple administration offers 108 type of special Janmashtami food(Bhog) to Lord Krishna, at midnight, following distribution of prasad among devotees. The day also features other religious task like reading scriptures from the holy Bhagawad Gita, singing devotional songs(Bhajans) etc.
Festival of Janmashtami - What To Do
One important programme in Janmashtami puja is Rasleela, while are organized in holy pilgrimage centers in Mathura, Dwarka and Vrindavan. History says that Sri Krishna along with his gopis played on the bank of river Yamuna in Vrindavan. The tradition is still maintain by devotees, who wear make-ups, sings the holy songs(Gopika Gitam), all in the divine spots. Also many theater stage dramas and plays making the birth anniversary a remarkable one.
Janm ashtami in India carries the custom of breaking 'Dahi Handi', an earthen pot filled with curd. It depicts the joy of Lord Krishna during his childhood. The pots are hung on the rope, which is around 20-30 feet high from the ground. Enthusiasts stand one upon the other, form a pyramid shape and put all their efforts to break it. Some places also take the event competitively and organizes prize distributions.
The shopping outlets and gift shops has already started selling garments, cards, calenders and special gift for the Janmashtami wishes. A left when your cellular in box will receive a number of messages, wishing happy Janmashtami. To help you more, gift ideas, sweet-dish recipes and devotional music are available on line. Check it and plan excitement on the very festival this year.