On Janamashtmi, devotees keep daylong fasts and keep themselves awake while chanting bhajans , until midnight follows.

Midnight is the moment when Lord Krishna was born. The prayer ceremony is a simple affair.

The priests chant holy mantras and bathe the idol of Lord Krishna placed on a swing with Panchamrit made of milk, ghee (clarified butter), curd, honey and sugar from a conch shell and Ganga-jal (water from the holy Ganges River).

Common Janmashtami customs followed across the world includes fasting and chanting of mantras, but, Mathura, Vrindavan, Dwarka and Mumbai follow some additional traditions and rituals as a part of Janmashtami celebrations. Some of them are:

  • Fasting:
 Most devotees fast for the entire day on Janmashtami as an    integral part of celebration. There are two common and    popular types of fast undertaken by different devotees,    namely:

   1. “Phalhaar Vrat”:

      This kind of fast allows the intake of juices, milk products, tea etc without the intake of cereals. One time food intake comprising of food made with vegetables and “Senda Namak” is allowed.

   2. “Nirjal Vrat”:

      As according to many traditions fasting is considered an integral part and from of showing devotion to Lord, some devotees undertake a fast without the intake of even water.
  • Fasting Foods:
Lord Krishna was supposed to be fond of Milk, curd, butter and other forms of milk products , thus, having an intake of    milk products on the day of Janmashtmi is very auspicious.    Other food intakes can be:


   1. Pedha
   2. Makhane ki Kheer
   3. Shrikhand
   4. Singhare ki puri
   5. Coconut ki barfi
  •  Chanting:

   Krishna’s birth (Janam) is associated with extreme joy, festivity and jubilation. As it was a    mid-night birth and a very auspicious composition of stars according to Hindu mythology,    chanting of Mantras, singing Bhajans, offering Aarti is popularly adopted.

   A common practice of celebration on Janmashtami involves the chanting of 108 names of  Lord Krishna, along with, showering of flowers on the idol of Krishna.

“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare”

   Is a very popular chanting mantra of lord Krishna.

  •  Ceremony of dahi-handi :

Popularly followed in the cities of Mathura, Dwarka,Vrindavan and Mumbai, the ritual of Dahi-handi is an enactment of Lord Krishna trying to grab butter from the pot (handi), by young boys. As Krishna was fond of butter (Maakhan), this tradition brings lot of fun, frolic and emotions with it.

   1. How is it performed?

      In an earthen pot, milk is put with some ghee, and, dry fruits, which is then suspended on a height of some 20 feet.

      The boys form the shape of a pyramid, and try to break the pot in an organized manner. It is customary that people standing around, throw loads on water on these boys to stop them grab the pot.

   2. Religious significance:

      The act of Dahi-handi is believed to throw away all negativities and bad-omens.

  • Rasleela:

raslila.jpgGopis (Sanskrit word meaning a group of cow-hoarding girls), were in intense and divine love with Krishna. Rasleela was traditionally a sport, fun activity that Krishna performed with Gopis. As Krishna wanted to give every Gopi equal importance, he always stood in the middle of a circle surrounded by Gopis.

   1. In Vrindavan:

      Vrindavan till date, is drowned in Krishna bhakti. Throughout the festival of Janmashtami, young Brahmin boys gather in groups at common places and indulge in the act of Dahi-handi.The language used is “Brij Bhasha”.

   2. Types of Rasleela:

      Janamleela: throws light on the birth of lord Krishna.
      Putanaleela: Killing of demons by krishna

  •  Janmashtmi Prasad

   The most famous Prasad (divine gift from god/guru), prepared and offered at temples during janmashtmi is “Panchamrit”.


      Panch means five and amrit means nectar, it is a an important form of “prasad” served at many festivals.It is a mixture of

          * milk
          * honey/sugar
          * ghee/oil
          * curd/yoghurt
          * tulsi leaves.

      Along with panchamrit , the fruits and sweets offered to lord during Prayer can also be offered as “Prasad” .

इस आर्टिकल को हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए यहां क्लिक करें

Forthcoming Festivals