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Krishna Janmashtami Festival

Janmashtami is popular as 'Gokulashtami' or 'Krishna Jayanti'. Lord Krishna is regarded as one of the main Gods among the Hindus. According to the mythology, there are various 'Yug' (phase) of Hindu mythology, and the birth of Sri Krishna took place in 'Dwapur Yug'. Sri Krishna came in this world to demolish the daemon Kansha, the king of Mathura. The birth occasion of Krishna is celebrated with the offerings that take place through out the night.
Lord Krishna is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and he took birth to kill his maternal uncle Kansha.

People of Gujarat treat the occasion as a grand event and the celebration takes place in temples, personal houses and in the localities when all the females treat Lord Krishna as their own child. On the occasion different sweets, dishes are prepared to give honor to the God.

Dwarka, the kingdom founded by Lord Krishna is located within the territories of the present day Gujarat and therefore, Krishna Janmashtami in Gujarat India is one of the most popular of the fairs and festivals in Gujarat.The Krishna Janmashtami Celebration in Gujarat is therefore one of the most popular events that is celebrated in both the public as well as private domain.

In gujarat Women give up all the household chores like cooking and cleaning etc. to play cards. This is an age old tradition. Women doing mind placing bets during the card session. The exact history of this peculiar tradition during Janmashtami is unknown but according to sociologists, this custom may have begun as a pass-time for women in the joint family system. Fasting all day long, the women played cards to kill time as well as keep them awake the entire night. It is said that women eat cold food prepared two days in advance.

History and Background of Janmashtami
This is one of the most important Hindu festivals, Janmashtami (Krishna Jayanti) is the birthday of Lord Krishna, the eighth reincarnation of Lord Vishnu who gave the vital message of the Bhagwat Gita - the guiding principles for every Hindu. Across India, there will be ceremonies and prayers at temples dedicated to Krishna. The day before may consist of fasting and prayer up to midnight, the time at which it was said that Krishna was born. Krishna was born in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. In this region, a common tradition is the performance of Krishna Lila, a folk drama consisting of scenes from Krishna's life. Many customs have developed in the different parts of India, all based on stories from Krishna's life. For instance, it is said that as a boy, Krishna loved butter and milk so much that they had to be kept out of his reach. This story is reflected in many climbing games for children.

- In Tamil Nadu, oiled poles with pots of money tied to the top are set up. Boys dressed as Krishna then try to climb these poles to get the money while onlookers squirt water at them.
- In Maharashtra, where the festival is known as Govinda, pots containing buttermilk are suspended high over streets. Teams of boys then form human pyramids competing against each other to see who can break the most pots.

Many colourful legends tell of Krishna's life and he is a prominent figure in Hindu writings.
As a child, he is noted for his pranks such as the aforementioned butter stealing and images of him as a child often show him dancing joyously and holding a ball of butter in his hands.
As an adult, he is most commonly depicted as a dancer or a lover, often playing the flute and surrounded by adoring women. In one story, it is said that defeated the many-headed serpent Kaliya by dancing it into submission.

Lord Krishna has 108 names
Though we all have nicknames, Lord Krishna has a whopping 108 names! Some of his names include Govind, Mohan, Hari, Vasudeva, Shyam, Ghanshyam, and to name a few more! These names reflect in all the bhajans and hymns which devotees sing on Janmashtami!

Janmashtami Around the World
Janmashtami is celebrated with great enthusiasm by Hindus across the Indian subcontinent and beyond. In "A Janmashtami Journey", we take a whistle-stop tour around the world to look at how this great festival is celebrated.
In countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, and New Zealand, where there is a large community of Hindus, Janmashtami is celebrated. The day is marked with great fanfare and fervour in London, the US, and Poland and there is a unique temple in the Macau peninsula.