Janmashtami 2018: Date, time, and significance of the festival

The Krishna Abhishekam is performed, where milk, ghee and water are offered to Krishna. Devotees also visit temples and also bathe Krishna’s idol in milk, honey and water at home.
Lord Krishna’s devotees fast on Janmashtami and eat only one meal a day before. The Krishna Abhishekam is performed (milk, ghee and water is used) and they offer ‘bhog’ to Krishna.(Shutterstock)
Lord Krishna’s devotees fast on Janmashtami and eat only one meal a day before. The Krishna Abhishekam is performed (milk, ghee and water is used) and they offer ‘bhog’ to Krishna.(Shutterstock)
Updated on Sep 01, 2018 09:00 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Delhi | ByKabir Bhandari

Janmashtami is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Krishna as it is believed that he was born at midnight on the eighth day (Ashtami) in the month of Shravan. On Janmashtami, stories of Lord Krishna’s birth and how he battled his enemies are shared among his devotees. His followers also visit temples to offer prayers to him.

History of Janmashtami

Mathura was under the rule of the evil King Kansa, who had a sister called Princess Devaki. She was married to Vasudeva with much pomp, but then a message was delivered that their eight son would cause the fall of Kansa.

When he came to know about this prophecy, Kansa immediately got Devaki and Vasudeva imprisoned. He killed the first six children who were born to the couple. The seventh child, called Balram, was magically transferred from Devaki’s womb to that of princess Rohini, who was in Vrindavan. After the birth of their eight child, Vasudeva was helped by the gods who guided him to take the baby to Vrindavan to the house of Nand and Yashoda.

Vasudeva returned to Mathura with a baby girl to present to Kansa, so that he wouldn’t kill her. However, Kansa picked up the baby to smash her against a rock. As he did so, she took the form of Goddess Durga, and warned him about his death.

Krishna fighting the Garuda bird, one of his many adventures. (Shutterstock)
Krishna fighting the Garuda bird, one of his many adventures. (Shutterstock)

Celebrating Janmashtami

Krishna devotees fast for the entire day and break when Ashtami tithi gets over. The Krishna Abhishekam is performed, where milk, ghee and water are offered to Krishna. Devotees also visit temples and also bathe Krishna’s idol in milk, honey and water at home. The day after Janmashtami is celebrated as the dahi handi festival in Maharashtra.

Puja timings

Ashtami Tithi starts at: 08:47 pm on September 2, 2018

Ashtami Tithi finishes at: 7:19 pm on September 3, 2018

Nishita Puja timing: 11:57 pm to 12:43 am

Parana timing: After 08:05 pm (September 3)

Dahi Handi: September 3, 2018

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