Janmashtami Rituals

 

Various customary observances mark the day of Janmashtami. Different rites and Janmashtami rituals mark the day and welcome the young Krishna on the earth. Observed on the eighth day of the new moon in the lunar month of Bhadra, Janmashtami is the most pious festival of India. According to the Gregorian calendar, it corresponds to the month of August or September. At midnight, people perform Janmashtami pooja with all Janmashtami rituals, customs and traditions

  • Bathing of the baby idol of Lord Krishna, ringing of bells, singing of Krishna prayers and 'aartis' are vital part of Janmashtami rituals.
  • From morning people start preparing for the Janmashtami pooja and great midnight event.
  • Observing of the daylong fast is another important tradition of Janmashtami. If people observe fast, after the pooja is over they break it by eating only 'phalahaar' that includes milk and milk products, fruits and 'singhare ki puri'. Others enjoy some of the special delicacies of the day like murukku, gopalkala and aloo/arwi chaat.
  • Chanting of mantras is yet another observance of the day. For the pooja, people and Brahmins take bath in the holy water. They wear new clothes, preferably yellow as Lord Krishna was born clad in yellow attire all decked up with emeralds.

  • At midnight, they bathe the idol of the Lord with pure Gangajal i.e. water from the holy River Ganges, milk, ghee and honey. It is also a custom to pour these ingredients onto the Lord through the conch. Then they decorate the Janmashtami pooja 'thali' with all the necessary puja items and perform pooja.
  • Decorating of pooja thali with roli, tika, chawal, incence sticks diya and a red cloth is very necessary as these are auspicious and bring good luck and prosperity in the family.
  • Sometimes before the pooja is performed, people organize Janmashtami bhajan 'sammelan' for hours. A lead member sings the bhajans and all the devotees sing after him. All the songs are in praise of the God and invoke him for blessings.


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