When is Krishna Janmashtami in 2022?

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Krishna Janmashtami, also known as Janmashtami or Gokulashtami, is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu.

This widely celebrated festival lasts one to two days and the celebrations take the form of dance dramas, singing and re-enactments of the life of Krishna.

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So when is Krishna Janmashtami this year and what is the celebration about? Here’s what you need to know.

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When is Krishna Janmashtami?

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Hindu devotees come to pay their respects on the occasion of the “Janmashtami” festival, which marks the birth of the Hindu god Lord Krishna

Krishna Janmashtami is observed on the eighth day of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada Masa. This usually falls in August or September on the Gregorian calendar.

In 2022, Krishna Janmashtami begins on August 18th and lasts until August 19th.

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Why is Krishna Janmashtami celebrated?

Laxmipriya Patel (L), aged 20, disguised as the Hindu god Lord Krishna, and her sister Mohini Patel, aged 13, disguised as Lord Krishna’s devotee Radharani

Krishna Janmashtami is an important festival for the followers of Vaishnavism in Hinduism.

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Krishna was born in a time of chaos, when evil was rampant, persecution was rampant, and his uncle threatened his life. After his birth, believed to have been around 3228 B.C. took place, Krishna’s parents took him to foster parents across the Yamuna (a tributary of the Ganges).

Krishna is believed to be incarnated by Lord Vishnu who is the second god in the Hindu triumvirate.

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The triumvirate consists of three gods responsible for the creation, preservation and destruction of the world. They are Brahma (creation), Vishnu (preserver and protector) and Shiva (destroyer).

It is believed that Vishnu returns incarnate in troubled times to restore good and evil and has been incarnated nine times so far.

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How is Krishna Janmashtami celebrated?

Some people believe that Krishna was born at midnight and so the celebrations begin at this time. Though the celebrations in India are different as each region and denomination marks the festival with their traditions and sentiments.

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Some Hindus choose to stay awake to sing traditional Hindu songs as song, dance and drama are essential.

Plays recreate scenes from Krishna’s early life, and in temples, depictions of Krishna are bathed and cradled, and sacred mantras are chanted.

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A main mantra chanted is Hare Krishna, a 16-word Vaishnava mantra mentioned in the Kali-Santarana Upanishad (a Hindu text).

Food plays an important part in the colorful celebrations and it is believed that Krishna’s favorite foods were milk and curd.

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However, some Hindus choose to fast until midnight.

Some auspicious times for Krishna Janmashtami to pray and offer blessings:

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  • Pune: 00:16 to 01:01
  • New Delhi: 00:03 to 00:47
  • Mumbi: 12:20 to 01:05
  • Kolkata: 23:18 to 00:03
  • Chennai: 23:50 to 00:36

In cities like Mumbai, Latur, Nagpur and Pune, they celebrate through a ritual called Dahi Handi, in which a young boy standing on top is lifted up by a crowd to reach a clay pot. The pot is filled with buttermilk and when the boy gets to the top he smashes the pot and the buttermilk spills out.

This tradition comes from the legend of little Krishna trying to find hidden dairy products kept out of his reach. Krishna tried all sorts of ideas to reach the pots, such as building a human pyramid with his friends to break these pots hanging high.

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The story also underscores the joyful innocence of children and that the love and play of life resides in the gods.

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