Skip to content
Krishna Janmashtami

Krishna Janmashtami

What is Krishna Janmashtami?

Krishna Janmashtami is a Hindu festival, additionally referred to as Gokulashtami. Hindu texts state that Krishna was born more than 5,250 years ago on the eighth day, or Ashtami, of the Krishna Paksha, or dark fortnight, in the month of Bhadrapada (August–September).

This holiday is celebrated with great excitement and devotion throughout India and other parts of the world where Hindus live. During Krishna Janmashtami (Gokulashtami) celebrations, people typically fast, sing devotional songs called bhajans, and perform Raslilas, which are traditional dance dramas based on the life of Lord Krishna. Every devotee decorates their houses and temples with rangoli, lights, and flowers, resulting in a joyous ambiance. Special prayers are said at midnight, when it is said that Krishna was born. An idol of the young Krishna is then cleaned and put in a cradle. 

The popular Krishna Janmashtami (Gokulashtami and Krishna Jayanthi) tradition associated with "Dahi Handi" is based on Krishna's childhood tricks, which involved stealing butter and curd from earthen pots that were elevated above the ground. To smash these pots, people formed human pyramids, symbolising both the accomplishment of spiritual values and the surmounting of obstacles. On the other hand, Janmasthmi is a festive day when people from all communities gather to commemorate Krishna's humorous demeanour as well as divine love, encouraging a sense of cultural unity and attachment.

When is Krishna Janmashtami  in 2024?

Krishna Janmashtami is scheduled to be observed on Monday, August 26th, 2024. This day may change depending on a particular location or culture. On Ashtami tithi, the eighth day of the lunar month, some people commemorate Janmasthmi (Gokulashtami or Krishna Jayanthi), while others honour the star alignment known as Rohini Nakshatra.

Hinduism values the cultural and historical significance of celebrating Lord Krishna's birth in Mathura over 5,000 years ago. Krishna is thought to be Lord Vishnu's eighth incarnation. At midnight, he was born into this world alongside Devaki and Vasudeva in a prison cell. Numerous supernatural events and miracles surrounding his birth serve as a reminder of the triumph of good over evil.Janmashtami (Gokulashtami and Krishna Jayanthi), a prominent festival, is celebrated equally across India, albeit with varying regional customs and rituals. Millions of people from all over the world come to celebrate for many days in Mathura and Vrindavan, which are known to have the highest devotion to Krishna. The temples have exquisite decorations. Extensive rituals are carried out both at night and throughout the day. The Dahi Handi ritual, in which young men create human pyramids to smash pots containing butter and curd, is a key part of the festivities.

How is Krishna Janmashtami Celebrated?

Everyone celebrates Krishna Janmashtami(Gokulashtami and Krishna Jayanthi) with enthusiasm and dedication in India and other Hindu-populated regions of the world. Traditionally, the celebration begins with a fast that lasts the entire day, during which followers abstain from food and liquids until midnight, the time of Krishna's birth. Swings, flowers, and lights are used to ornament houses, symbolising Krishna's carefree nature. There are pious vibes created by the many hymns and devotionals to Lord Krishna that one may hear everywhere.

One of the main events of Janmashtami is the Raslila, a traditional dance drama. The story revolves around the life of Lord Krishna, particularly His amusing interactions with the gopis at Vrindavan. The dance performances usually tell the story of Lord Krishna's life span while set to music and song, captivating onlookers.

Conch shells are blown and bells ring at midnight, the exact hour when Krishna was born. An idol of the newborn Krishna is then bathed in a mixture of milk, ghee, and honey before being dressed in freshly stitched clothing and jewels and placed in a cradle. The worshippers sing God lullabies and make prayers. There is the Dahi Handi ceremony in different places. This involves groups of boys trying to build human pyramids so that they can reach and break a clay pot full of curd, butter, or other milk products that represent Krishna's playful nature. The distribution of Prasad, or holy food, and eating mark the joyous occasion of Krishna's birth as the celebrations continue.

Significance of Krishna Janmashtami

The festival of Krishna Janmashtami (Gokulashtami and Krishna Jayanthi) has profound intellectual and spiritual meaning. It's Lord Krishna's birthday celebration. Hindus consider Lord Krishna to be an incarnation of the All-Powerful Vishnu. Krishna is a symbol of heavenly love, knowledge, and morality in Hindu texts. 
The importance of Krishna Janmashtami stems from the unique circumstances surrounding Krishna's birth. Because of his malevolent uncle King Kansa's fear that his death would come at the hands of his sister Devaki's eighth child, Krishna was born in a jail cell. As soon as he was born, his father Vasudeva performed a miracle and brought him across the Yamuna River to safety at Gokul. In this tale of his escape and birth into divinity, justice triumphs in life and good vanquishes evil, symbolised by demonic forces. 

Janmashtami (Gokulashtami and Krishna Jayanthi) is extensively celebrated in India and around the world. Devotees engage in various rituals and fasts (upavasa). Religious texts will be read and recited, dance-dramas portraying the life of Lord Krishna as it is told in the Bhagavata Purana, and devotional singing will continue till midnight, the moment of Krishna's birth. The following day, some communities celebrate Dahi Handi, which involves breaking a pot of curd. Krishna's teachings, which emphasise devotion, selfless service, and the triumph of virtue over evil, are the centre of this joyous festival. 

Rituals Performed during Krishna Janmashtami


  • Clean the house: Make sure to clean your entire home, but especially the space where you pray. 
  • Decoration: Arrange flowers, garlands, rangolis, and lights to adorn the prayer area. 
  • Prepare an idol of Krishna: Bathe and clothe a miniature statue of Baby Krishna before placing it in a little cradle.
  • Gather offerings: To honour Krishna, prepare fruits, candies, milk, and butter.
  • Start fasting: A lot of followers fast on Janmashtami, without eating or drinking anything until after midnight. 
  • Break the fast: Following Krishna's birth, the fast is broken after midnight with the offering of prasad (blessed food) to the deity. 
Midnight Celebrations: 
  • Gather for prayers: At midnight, the moment of Krishna's birth, all family and friends gather for prayers. 
  • Sing devotional songs: Bhajans, or devotional songs, and kirtans, or devotional chants, are sung in worship of Krishna. 
  • Offer prayers: Present the Krishna statue with the prepared candies, fruits, milk, and butter. 
  • Swing the cradle: Swing a cradle gently. It's a ritual that represents the birth of Krishna.
  • Perform aarti: Perform aarti, a ritual that involves waving lit lamps in front of the deity. 
  • Distribute prasad: Distribute the hallowed meal to all those in attendance on this special day.
Other Customs: 
  • Dahi Handi: In some parts of India, people take part in Dahi Handi. It is customary to build a human pyramid in order to break a pot of curd or butter that is suspended high above. 
  • Rasa Lila: Dance dramas depicting Krishna's life are performed.

Explore our Krishna Janmashtami products

GIRI invites you to honour Lord Krishna's beautiful birth with our most excellent Krishna Janmashtami (Gokulashtami or Krishna Jayanthi) collection. Worship artistically crafted idols, meticulously placed puja accessories, and vibrant decorations. From adorable baby Krishna idols in various stances to chic baby Krishna jhulas (cradles) and alluring little accessories. With our festive lights, vibrant rangolis, and themed garlands, you can turn your house into a holy sanctuary. 

Enjoy the blessings of this special day by shopping our selection of Krishna Janmashtami (also known as Gopalasthami and Krishna Jayanthi) items. Our items are made to both improve your festivities and strengthen your relationship with the divine. GIRI offers a wide range of products to meet all your needs, whether you're trying to add a spiritual feel to your house or are searching for thoughtful presents for loved ones. On this festive occasion, let the spirit of Krishna's playful love and wisdom enter your home and heart. 

Previous article Varalakshmi Vratham
Next article Ganesh Chaturthi