Janmashtami or the birthday of Lord Shree Krishna, is celebrated throughout India with immense religious fervor and fanfare, as there is a huge following of Lord Krishna across the globe, not just in India. It is one of the most important Hindu festivals, and also one of the most celebrated ones. It is to be noted that Lord Krishna is the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, who is regarded as the ‘Preserver’. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has made this day even more popular among Indians residing abroad, as well as among Westerners, who have become ardent followers of the Lord. In India, this day is celebrated in all major Hindu temples, especially Krishna temples, spanning the length and breadth of this country. In Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, which is the birthplace of Lord Krishna, special prayers, rituals and ceremonies are conducted night long and throughout the day, which is attended by lakhs of Hindu devotees and pilgrims. The same is the scenario in Vrindavan (UP), Dwarka (Gujarat), Mayapur (West Bengal) and in all other places where devout Hindus come to worship and pray.
Food, Song, Dance & Prayers
No Indian festival is complete without devotional songs, prayers, hymns, chants and of course food that forms the core component of any major Hindu festival, and Janmashtami is in no way different. In fact, it is special and unique as it involves the participation of Indians as well as Europeans, Americans, Africans, Latins and Asians who love their Lord like anything. The Krishna devotees dance their way all the night long and throughout the day in celebration of the birth of the Lord, which is truly an auspicious occasion in the lives of all Hindus. Come to India during ‘Janmashtami’ and experience that eternal bliss, happiness and joy which is a unique feeling. The temples across India and abroad are filled with the chants and hymns in praise of the Almighty which is so satisfying to the soul and so overpowering to the ears.
Festive Fashion & Style
Well I guess, it differs from place to place. During Janmashtami, girls and women in North and West India prefer wearing traditional lehenga cholis and sarees, whereas in East India, it is strictly sarees for women. It can be a silk saree or a pure cotton saree, as one such outfit reveals the simplicity of life that is on full display during one such festive occasion, especially Janmashtami. Little girls dress-up in lehenga cholis which looks really beautiful and cute. If you happen to visit any of the ISKCON temples in India, you get to see international female devotees in pure cotton sarees worn in a traditional Indian way, and that is a spectacle of some sort. It’s like a perfect blend of East and West that is so beautiful, rich and soothing to the eyes. These saree clad women and girls dance to the tune of devotional songs, Cymbals and Dholaks (musical instrument) that are played by other devotees who are soaked in the ambiance of devotion to the Lord. So, Janmashtami is like a melting pot of culture, cuisine and fashion that is hard to find in any other Hindu festival, in fact Indian festival.