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Krishna Janmashtami 2021: Date and history of of festival that celebrates birth of Lord Krishna

This year amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Ashtami Tithi will commence at 11:25 pm on 29 August and will end on 31 August at 1:59 am

The festival of Krishna Janmashtami is around the corner. This year, it will be observed and celebrated by Hindus on 30 August. Also known as Gokul Ashtami, this festival celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, who is Lord Vishnu’s eighth avatar.

This grand festival is marked on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada which falls either in July or August in India. Also, as per Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna was born on this day to destroy Mathura's demon king - Kansa.

Krishna Janmasthami 2021 tithi, shubh muhurat, and vrat parana timings

This year amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Ashtami Tithi will commence at 11:25 pm on 29 August and will end on 31 August at 1:59 am.

As Krishna is born at midnight, the puja is performed during Nishita Kaal. Therefore, the puja timings are between 11:59 pm (30 August) to 12:44 am (31 August).

Devotees, who observe a fast on Janmashtami, can break it only after 9:44 am on 31 August. If an individual cannot wait this long to break a fast, then they can do the Parana after 5:59 am on 31 August.

During this festival, the Rohini Nakshatra timing is also very significant, this year it will begin from 6:39 am on 30 August and end at 9:44 am on 31 August.

The history behind Janmashtami:

Lord Krishna was Devaki and Vasudeva's son. He was born when Mathura was ruled by his uncle Kansa. This evil king wanted to kill his sister's children as a prophecy revealed that the couple's eighth son would cause Kansa's downfall and kill him someday.

As the prophecy spread across the land, Kansa imprisoned Devaki and Vasudeva. He also killed their other children. However, when Krishna was to be born, the entire palace went into slumber and Vasudeva rescued the baby to Nand and Yashodha's small hut in Vrindavan.

Vasudeva then returned to the palace with a baby girl and handed her to Kansa. In this way, Krishna grew up and finally killed his uncle, Kansa.

How is Janmashtami celebrated by devotees?

Every year on Krishna Janmashtami, devotees observe this auspicious festival by observing a fast and praying to Lord Krishna. The fast is observed to their beloved deity and can only be broken after offering their prayers to him. Meanwhile, the ritual of breaking the fast is called Parana.

On a special day, people decorate their homes with colourful flowers, small diyas, and lights. Even the temples are beautifully decorated and lit for the occasion.

Among the many temples in India, the ones in Mathura and Vrindavan witness the most extravagant and colourful celebrations which continue for days. As per scriptures, Lord Krishna was born at midnight so an idol of the infant is washed and placed in a cradle at that time in these temples.

Moreover, during these sacred days, devotees perform Raslila to recreate incidents from Lord Krishna's life and also to celebrate his love for Radha.

Happy Janmashtami