Don’t be surprised if you see little blue children dressed in flamboyance running around with flutes in their hands. They are the echo of Lord Krishna, the pure consciousness, the ultimate reality and the essence of all that is created. It is hard not to be partial to Nanda Gopala what with the peacock feather on His head, a flute in His hand, a dance in His step, the Gopis circumventing Him and a playful all knowing smile on His lips that often betrays the butter that was stealthily savored. Janmashtami would be nothing short of a grand celebration of the Lord as he is welcomed all over India with tiny rice flour footsteps in anticipation of His Grace who would be gladly pampered with butter by the worshiping devotees.
Janmashtami is a popular festival in North India. It is also celebrated in the southern part of India as Sri Krishna Jayanti or Gokulashtami. This festival is celebrated as the birth day of Lord Krishna who was born more than 5000 years ago in the 28th year of Dwapur Yug. Mathura is the birth place of Lord Krishna. It is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Janmashtami falls in the month of August-September every year. Infant Krishna’s idol is placed in a decorated cradle and worshiped late in the evening, particularly at the time of Panchanga as Krishna was born at midnight. Kolam, also known as Rangoli in Hindi is drawn specially for the occasion in the front yard of the house and footprints representing those of Krishna are also drawn with the rice flour from the front yard to the pooja room, representing infant Krishna entering the devotee’s home. The devotee observe fast on this day and break their fasts by feasting on milk sweets and savories after they were offered along with milk, curd, butter and fruits to Lord Krishna as it is said that Krishna likes the milk products, makhan, butter.