Krishna Janmashtami also known as Krishnashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti, Sree Jayanti or sometimes merely as Janmashtami, is an annual commemoration of the birth of the Hindu deity Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu.
The festival is celebrated on the eighth day (Aṣṭamī) day of the dark fortnight of the month of Śrāvaṇa or Bhādrapada (August–September) in theHindu calendar. Rasa lila, dramatic enactments of the life of Krishna, are a special feature in regions of Mathura and Vrindavan, and regions following Vaishnavism in Manipur. While the Rasa lila re-creates the flirtatious aspects of Krishna's youthful days, the Dahi Handi celebrate God's playful and mischievous side, where teams of young men form human towers to reach a high-hanging pot of butter and break it. This tradition, also known asuriadi, is a major event in Tamil Nadu on Gokulashtami.
How Krishna Janmashtami is Celebrated:
The highlight of the festival, which takes place on the second day, is the Dahi Handi. This is where clay pots containing butter, curd, and money are strung up high from buildings and young Govindas form a human pyramid and compete with each other to reach the pots and break them open. This celebration represents Lord Krishna's love for butter and curd, which were the foods he most often enjoyed eating. Lord Krishna was quite mischievous and would take curd from people's houses, so the housewives hung it up high out of his way. Not to be deterred, he gathered his friends together and climbed up to reach it.
The history of Janmashtmi dates back to thousand years. There are also several legends and stories associated with this festival. If you start exploring the origin of the festival, you will end up listening to thousands of folklores related to Krishna and his birth. It is believed that Lord Krishna was the incarnation of Vishnu, one of the three most important Hindu Gods. It is commonly believed that he took birth for killing Kansa, the unreligious demon king of Mathura and other demons, to establish a kingdom of peace, prosperity and religion on earth and to spread the message of brotherhood and humanity.
In his preaching to Arjuna in the Holy Bhagvad Gita he says ‘Whenever the balance of the universe is disturbed by external interference from any of its parts, then I reveal myself as the Power of eternal balancing. For the protection of those who are in harmony, and the rectification of everything disharmonious, I incarnate myself at every juncture of time.’ So, it is assumed that the form of God will return back on earth for the establishment of peace, religion and prosperity in society once again when required. The celebration of Janmashtami is also a way to commemorate his holy deeds on earth for the mankind.