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Gokulashtami Festival

"Gokulashtami" or "Janmashtami" or "Krishna Jayanti" marks the celebration of the birth of Lord Sri Krishna. Janmashtami is the combination of two words ‘Janma’ means birth and Ashtami means an eighth day of a month Krishna. It symbolizes Lord Krishna’s birth on Ashtami day of a month. Janmashtami is also popular as Gokulashtami, Sri Krishna Jayanti, Saatam Aatham.  Ashtami Rohini, Sree Jayanti or sometimes simply as Srikrishna Jayanti.

Gokulashtami Festival Date

25th August, 2016/ Thursday

 It is an annual celebration of the birth of the Hindu deity Lord Krishna, the 8th avatar of Lord Vishnu. He is recognized as the Supreme God and one of Lord Vishnu's most glorious incarnations. Lord Krishna (also known as Madhusudhana, Govinda, Mukunda and Vasudeva) is popularly known as a naughty child, a divine lover, a destroyer of demons, an inspired cowherd and an enthralling flute-player. The main object of this avatar of Lord Vishnu as Krishna or Govinda was to destroy the cruel King of Mathura named Kansa.

Hindus celebrate "Gokulashtami" or "Janmashtami" by fasting, performing rituals, worshipping Lord Govinda and staying up until midnight, and offering prayers, the time, Lord Krishna is believed to have been born. Many women observe vrat (fast) for the whole day and take food only after Lord Govinda’s (Krishna) birth.

At midnight, devotees also gather around and sing religious songs. Some temples also conduct readings of the Holy Scripture Bhagavad Gita. Varieties of Indian sweets are also made during "Gokulashtami" festival.  Among these are Kheer, Makkhan, Laddus, Shrikhand, Barfi, Payasam or Kheer, and so on.

Places in Uttar Pradesh that are associated with Lord Krishna's childhood, such as Vrindavan, Mathura and Gokul, come alive, with major celebrations and attract visitors from all over India. People visit the temples to participate in the festival celebrations. People in the city of Dwarka in Gujarat – where Lord Govinda (Krishna) has established his Kingdom – celebrate "Janmashtami" or "Krishna Jayanti" by visiting the Dwarkadhish temple. 

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