It will be celebrated on the following dates of the Gregorian calendar, because Hindus follow their own Calendar called “Hindu Panchang”, According to which it says.
2023: Wednesday and Thursday, September 6-7
2024: Monday and Tuesday, August 26-27
2025: Friday and Saturday, August 15-16
It is a festival that is celebrated on the eve of the birth of Bhagwan “Shri Krishn” who is one of the most prominent Hindu figures and is venerated to the core of Hindus. He is the one who taught “Dharm (Duty)” to Hindus via the most prominent and vital scripture of Hindus, which is “Bhagvat Geeta”.
Bhagwan “Shri Krishn” is one of the 10 incarnations (Avtaar) of Bhagwan Vishnu who is the keeper of all the universes in existence. There is a quote from Bhagwan Krishn, he says “Whenever there is a loss of Dharm on this Earth, I will incarnate and purge the Earth.” To fulfill this statement, he incarnates in every Yug (Time cycle) of Hindus.
Story Behind Janmashtami
It was the Yug (Hindu time cycle) of Dwapar when people were indulging in Adharm (unruly practices or not following their Dharm), it was necessary that Bhagwan has to come and purge the Earth from the people who are not healthy for a living and prosperous society. One of them was the real uncle of Bhagwan Krishn called “Kans” He was very cruel but he used to love his sister a lot, he treated her like his own daughter right from childhood.
To improve and expand his influence to other kingdoms he arranged the marriage of his sister “Devki” to the king of Vrishni “Vasudev”. While he was sleigh riding his sister’s palanquin, an announcement was made in the sky, which says “O Kans, while you are very happy today and assisting the marriage arrangements of your beloved sister. The eighth son of your sister would be the one who is going to kill you and punish you for all the “Adharm” that you have done to others and society”. After listening to this, he was worried and started looking troubled, because announcements made from the sky never go in vain. Devki and Vasudev were also listening to this announcement and looked worried too. Kans immediately put his sister and brother-in-law in jail and decided that he will kill all infants of his sister the day they are born irrespective of their gender, hence he will prove the announcement wrong, neither the child will survive nor he will be able to kill him.
As time passes, he started killing all the newborn of his sister the day news of birth arrives. He killed all five children born immediately after birth. The sixth child when he was an embryo was transferred by “Yog Maya” to the womb of “Rohini” the other wife of “Vasudev”, that sixth child becomes “Balram” the elder brother of “Krishn”, and the 7th child was a girl who vanished from the hands of Kans when he was about to kill her. Then finally the eighth child was born, it was the dark 8th night of the Hindu Month “Bhadrapada”. When “Krishn” Bhagwan was born entire gatekeeper army became unconscious, all the locks and channels of the jail were opened on their own.
Then the father of “Krishn” Vasudev, took little Krishn in a small cradle made of husk and came out of the entire secured Jail since no one was awake to stop him and no lock was locked to stop his way. He crossed the Yamuna River and came to “Nandagaon” (a small village in Mathura) with his friend Nand. He asks him to keep and save his child, being a very good friend, he kept “Krishn” and introduced it to “Yashoda” the Nand wife as his Child. Kans tried to kill Krishn many times thereafter but all of his efforts were in vain and eventually, he was killed by Krishn when he grew up at the age of 13. Right from this point the 8th Night of “Bhadrapada” is celebrated vociferously among Hindus in India and across the world.
How Janmashtami is Celebrated
On the first day of the Janmashtami, worshippers begin at dawn by fasting, reading scripture, and conducting prayer rituals or Puja. The fast strictly prohibits the consumption of grain but may be broken by small meals of fruits and water. Dances and dramatic re-enactments of the Janmashtami history are performed during the day. At midnight, the fast ends, and the Krishn statues are bathed in milk and honey, or in water that has been treated with a combination of spices, cloves, cardamom, saffron, Tulsi, and rose petals.
In the evening, in cities and villages, small kids make tableaus of their cultural festival, God, etc outside of their houses, and passers-by appreciate the efforts of kids and their parents, people visit temples that have been decorated during the time of evening, Krishn songs are played, and it is a night full of light and joy that is savored by all the Krishn devotees.
On the Second day of the Janmashtami, the Chappan Bhog is collected, a huge offering of 56 of Krishn’s Favourite foods. Those include cereals, dried and fresh fruits, sweets, pickles, and nuts; each of the 56 must include a quantity of eight. After the offering, the foods are distributed to the participants.
In some of the larger cities, like Mumbai, etc “Dahi Handi” is Performed- an entertainment recollecting the mischievousness of Krishn as a boy. Clay pots containing butter, curd, and honey are strung high up on buildings, and young men form human pyramids to compete with one another to break the pots. It is a very mesmerizing event to be witnessed, whoever wins, distributes the butter among all as a “prasad” of Bhagwan “Krishn”