Janmashtami 2019: Date, Puja Timings, History, Significance and Importance
Janmashtami 2019: Krishna Janmashtami, celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, is observed with great fervor. Believed to be the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, Krishna is was said to be born on the eighth day (ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Bhadrapad. This year, the festival of Janmashtami will be observed on August 24.
The festival is mainly celebrated in Mathura (which is said to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna), in parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan, and in the northeastern states like Assam and Manipur.
To celebrate the day, Krishna temples are decorated; processions are taken out, while religious sites dedicated to the Blue God see a host of bhajans and kirtans taking place along with satsangs. Many places host dance-drama enactments of the life of Krishna according to the Bhagavata Purana, devotional singing through the midnight when Krishna was born, fasting (upavasa), a night vigil (ratri Jagran), and a festival (Mahotsav) the following day to celebrate His birth.
Devotees offer ‘chappan bhog’ on the following day, which is known as ‘Nanda Utsav’, as part of which 56 dishes are prepared to offer to the god. After the offering, the prasad is then distributed and shared among devotees so they can end their fast.
Janmashtami 2019: Date & Timings
- Date of Janmashtami: August 24
- Nishita Puja Time: Aug 25, 12:01 AM – 12:46 AM
- Dahi Handi: August 25, 2019, Sunday
- Parana as per Dharma Shastra:
- Parana Time – after 05:59 AM, Aug 25
- On Parana Day, Ashtami Tithi and Rohini Nakshatra gets over before sunrise
The ‘bhog’ is known to contain all of Krishna’s favourite dishes, who is also lovingly known as ‘maakhan chor’, or butter thief. Malpua, mathri, jalebi, makhan mishri, rabri, rasgulla, murabba, saag, khichdi, milk, dry fruits, etc., are some of the common dishes included in the bhog.
Believers fast the whole day, spending the time singing devotional songs; they also maintain a vigil into the night as it is believed that Krishna was born at midnight. The Nishita Puja timings are from 12:01 am to 12:46 am Aug 25. The fast is broken on the next day when the Ashtami Tithi is over.
The idea behind the celebrations is to observe the victory of good over evil. As per Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says that whenever there is a predominance of evil and decline of religion, he will reincarnate to destroy the evil and let the good take over. The main significance of Janmashtami is to promote goodwill as it is to knock down evil intentions. Krishna Jayanti also celebrates togetherness. The festive occasion brings people together when families and friends join in to celebrate it.