Janmashtami is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India. It is also one of the oldest festivals of the subcontinent. Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, the eighth human incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who was born at midnight on the ‘eighth day’ or the ‘Ashtami’ of the holy month, Shravana, according to the Hindu Lunar calendar. Towns like Mathura and Vrindavan start preparing for the festival weeks in advance. It was here that Lord Krishna spent his early formative years, the tales of which are recited and re-enacted across all major pandals that line the streets of Mathura and Vrindavan. Lord Krishna later moved to Dwarika in Gujarat, where he reigned as ‘Dwarkadheesh’ (King of Dwarika). Devotees in Dwarika also celebrate the festival in full fervour. They light up the ancient temple of Dwarika and prepare delicious bhog and prasad for the deity. Apart from this, devotees from different regions of the country have come up with their own local way of celebrating the festival over the years. Celebrations in south India are distinct from the ones in north India. In some parts of the country, Janmashtami celebrations go on for more than a day too.
From legends of his birth, valour and childhood revelry to his great penchant of food, Lord Krishna is surely one of the most loved characters from Hindu mythology .
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