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  JANMASHTAMI
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Janmashtami

Lord Krishna’s birthday is celebrated as Janmashtami by the Hindus. According to Hindu calender, Janmashtami is observed in the month of Bhadra on the eight day of the Krishna Paksha. However following the Gregorian calendar, Janmashtami falls between mid August and mid September.

Hindu mythology terms the birth of Lord Krishna as Janmashtami. If legends are to be believed, the demon Kangsha, the king of Mathura. Heard a heavenly voice, which said that the eighth son of his sister Devaki would be
responsible for his death. The angry demon immediately imprisoned his sister and his brother-in-law Vasudev. Seven sons born of the couple were treacherously murdered by the King. But the night, the eighth son was born, heaven intervened.
A storm started and soon all the guards mysteriously fell asleep. The shackles of the prisoners fell on the floor and a heavenly voice was heard. It directed Vasudev to take the newborn baby to Brindaban, to the home of Nanda and replace the baby with Nanda's child. The gates were thrown open by supernatural power. Vasudev took the baby on his head and walked through deserted ally in midst of the dark stormy night towards his destination. But nor did he feel the bristles of rain or the gusts of wind as Vasuki the Vahana of Lord Vishnu protected them all the way. The rivers stopped flowing to make way for them and the paths were cleared to let them pass. Vasudev reached Brindaban to find it in a state of coma.
 
 
He replaced Nanda's child with his and immediately made his way back to Mathura. After a similar journey when he entered his cell in the royal prison, every thing became normal. The chains bounded them and the guards woke up. Seeing the newborn baby, they informed the king. Kangsha came down to the dungeon and when he tried to kill the baby, it vanished and a voice was heard that the person in Gokul would kill him. Eventually, Krishna grew up in Brindaban and then came back to Mathura and destroyed Kangsha and freed his mother and father. The incident of his birth and his transportation to Brindaban is celebrated all over Bengal, the scenes being depicted with clay models.
On this day, the idol of baby Krishna is washed and adorned with new clothes and jewellery. Then the idol is placed in a cradle and worshipped. This event is called the ‘Jhoolan Utsav’. Also, to mark the entry of Lord Krishna into his foster house, designs of footprints entering the house, of babies are drawn outside every home with rice-flour paste. People generally fast on this day in order to wash away their sins and expel bad luck. The person keeping the fast must stay on vegetables the previous day for self control. Also after breaking the fast the person must perform a puja through a priest and then must offer food and money to the Brahmins.

People generally fast on this day in order to wash away their sins and expel bad luck. The person keeping the fast must stay on vegetables the previous day for self control. Also after breaking the fast the person must perform a puja through a priest and then must offer food and money to the Brahmins.
 
 
The ingredients  for the puja are:

Til, Phul, Tulsi, Durba, Dhup, Dip, Panchagabo, Panchaguri, Atopchaler Naibodya, Foler Naibodya, Pat, Bali, Madhuparker Bati, Ason, Onguri, Purnapatra, Dahi, Madhu, Chini, Tel, Holud.

There are many ways in which Janmashtami is celebrated in various regions of the country.

West Bengal


West Bengal celebrates Janmashtami with great exuberance and religious rituals are followed according to the vedic sacred scriptures. Moreover processions are taken out with wonderful tableaus depicting the various stages of the Lord’s life and the sound of counch along with that of ringing bells fills the environment. Also in several temples and places ‘Raslila’, the depiction of various events from Kirishna’s life through drama and acting are performed. The people prepare particular dishes as offering to Krishna and during night many performs special pujas to honour and please the Lord. In every temple some special functions are held attracting lots of devotees.The famous among them is the Iskon temple which attracts a huge mass of people. The grand Jhoolan Utsav is performed and various singers associated with the temple sings devotional bhajans and songs, known as ‘Kirtan’.Thousands of devotees listens to these ‘Kirtans’ and later are served with a special dish with 56 items known as the ‘Chappan Bhog’.
 
 
 

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