A celebration of birth at midnight | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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A celebration of birth at midnight

mumbai Updated: Sep 02, 2010 02:26 IST
Aarefa Johari

While Lord Krishna's birth will be heralded by hundreds of dahi handi groups out on the streets on Thursday, families in the city had their own quiet Janmashtami celebrations at midnight.

"That is the hour when baby Krishna was born, and we mark it by going to the temple for a long darshan (glimpse) of the Lord,” said Geeta Mehta (48), a housewife from Khetwadi who will also keep a fast on Thursday. "The fast marks the suffering of Krishna's mother during childbirth, but ironically we end up making more dishes and delicacies on that day!"

At Renu Raheja's Khar home, an idol of Laddoo Gopal (baby Krishna) is hidden away and brought out only at midnight. The idol is then bathed in panchamrut – a special mix of milk, sugar, curd, ghee and honey – and dressed in new clothes.

"We put him in a decorated cradle which is kept out for six days,"said Raheja, a fashion designer whose family likes to sing bhajans at midnight for the Lord.

"During the day, we will go to the temple and distribute prasad to our neighbours.”

Many families also draw baby footprint marks outside their front doors, symbolising Krishna's entry into their homes.

Meanwhile, youngsters like Parinaya Joshi from Thane prefer to go out with friends to see dahi handi pyramids in the neighbourhood.

"It was more fun when I was younger. Now the crowds are very rough and rowdy,"said the 19-year-old.