Janmashtami is a Hindu festival to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna. It is celebrated in August every year. The Ashtami date of Krishna Paksha is the date for celebrating Janmashtami. Lord Krishna is considered to be the most powerful of all the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Hindus celebrate Janmashtami with pomp and glory. Let us speak a bit about Lord Krishna.
Lord Krishna is one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. He was born about 5200 years ago on the 8th day of the dark fortnight in the Bhadon month of the Hindu calendar. He is considered as an extremely powerful god. He was born on the Earth with a special purpose of freeing it from the evil clasps. He had a profound influence in the epic, Mahabharata, where he took Pandavas's side and guided them to victory in the battle of Kurukshetra. Throughout his life, he preached the concept of Bhakti and Karma.
Lord Krishna was born in jail since his parents were kept in prison by his uncle Kansha. Kansha feared that the eighth child of their parents would kill him. Although Krishna was the eighth child, his father Vasudev saved him from Kansha by giving him his friend Nand. Krishna grew up in the Gokul society by his foster father, Nand, and foster mother, Yashoda. He showed several magical performances by killing several asuras throughout his childhood and youth, and he grew up to be a strong person. Finally, he and his brother Balaram went to Kansha's palace for a fighting tournament, where Krishna killed Kansha.
Several shows on Lord Krishna broadcast on television daily basis. I loved to watch them when I was a child, and also now. I love the fact that Krishna loves to eat Makhan, which he used to steal from his mother's kitchen. For this reason, Lord Krishna is also known as 'Natkhat Nand Lal.' He was called Natkhat because he was very naughty when he was a child. He played with friends and cows, and therefore, he is also called Govind.
Lord Krishna was dark-skinned, as dark as rain-filled clouds. Lord Krishna's best friend is his aunt Radha. Radha is very important in the life of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna loves to spend time with her. He also loves to spend time with other friends like Sudama.
Since Lord Krishna was born at night, people celebrate Janmashtami at midnight. People follow a special means of celebrating Janmashtami. Since Lord Krishna loved to eat Makhan, people played sports with Makhan. They put the makhan in an earthen pot called a matki. The judge ties the makhan-filled matki very high above the ground. People play this game in groups. These people make a pyramid so tall that they can reach the matki tied above. Other teams try to stop them from reaching the matki. Every team has a definite time to reach matki. If any team fails to reach the matki before the time, then other teams are given a chance to reach the matki. This game is so interesting that many people come to see the sport.
Janmashtami is also celebrated in houses in different ways. People decorate both the inside and outside of the house with lights. They perform pujas and offerings at different temples. On the eve of Janmashtami, we all hear the sound of mantras and bells for the entire day. Many people also love to sing and dance to religious songs. Janmashtami is considered as one of the most pompous and joyous festivals in Hinduism.
Q1. Why is Janmashtami Celebrated?
Ans. Janmashtami is celebrated to remember the birth of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is one of the re-incarnations of Lord Vishnu and is considered to be one of the strongest of them all. In prison, he was born to Vasudev and Devaki since his parents were prisoned by his uncle Kansha. Uncle Kansha learned from the gods that the eighth child of Vasudev and Devaki would kill him. However, Kansha killed all the previous seven children. Krishna was born as the eighth child in the month of Bhadon. Before Kansha could kill Krishna, Vasudev fled from the prison and gave Krishna to his friend, Nanda. Nanda belonged to the Gokul community, and Krishna grew up in Gokul.
Q2. How is Janmashtami Celebrated?
Ans. Janmashtami is celebrated to remember the birth of Lord Krishna on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the Bhadon month of the Hindu calendar. Janmashtami is one of the most celebrated Hindu festivals in the country. People perform pujas at their house or in temples. There are defined rituals for Janmashtami. People also decorate their houses with lights, flowers, and other decorative items. They make groups, offer sweets, perform puja together, and even sing and dance to spiritual songs that depict the story of Lord Krishna. Since Lord Krishna was very fond of eating Makhan, people also play a sport called Matki-phor. It is a very popular sport in India, and many people gather together to play or see the sport.
Q3. What is a Matki-phod Game?
Ans. Matki-Phor is an Indian game played on Janmashtami. It is played to remember the fondness of Lord Krishna for Makhan. Matkis is Makhan filled earthen pots. The judges of the game tie the Makhan-filled matkis high above the ground. The players have to reach the matkis and smash it to eat the makhan inside. To reach matkis, people have to make a pyramid and go high. Therefore, people have to play in groups. Other teams will disturb them when they are attempting. They have a specific time to reach the matki. If the team does not reach the matki within the specified time, other teams can try. This is a very popular sport in India, and many people flock to see the teams performing in the game.