Janmashtami (Smarta) in India ― Date, History, and Details

Janmashtami (Smarta) in India

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History of Janmashtami (Smarta) in India and How to Celebrate/ Observe It

Janmashtami is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. It is also known as “Gokulashtami” or “Krishnashtami”. It is observed according to the Hindu luni-solar calendar, on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the month of Shravana.

The festival is celebrated with great fanfare in states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, West Bengal, Gujarat and Rajasthan. In Mathura and Vrindavan, the birthplace of Krishna, the festival is celebrated for two days. Janmashtami is also observed as a special day by the Vaishnava sect of Hindus.

On this day, devotees fast and offer prayers to Lord Krishna. Temples are decorated and special pujas are performed. Devotees also sing bhajans and kirtans (devotional songs) in praise of Krishna. The story of Krishna’s birth and childhood is also recited on this day.

In some parts of India, Janmashtami is celebrated as a children’s festival. Children dress up as Krishna and Radha and play games. The festival is also an occasion for exchanging gifts and feasting.