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Janmashtami

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Janmashtami commemorates the birth of Lord Krishna who was born on the eight day of the month of Shravana as the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Usually known as Gokulashtami or Krishna Janmashtami, this Hindu festival is predominantly celebrated in North India and is followed by a celebration of the Nandotsav. Most Hindus celebrate this pious festival by fasting and as Lord Krishna is believed to have been born at midnight, devotees stay up till then to sing devotional songs, dance to them and exchange sweets to celebrate his birth. The idols are arranged in cradles and swings while Lord Krishna is offered curd, butter, sweets, milk and a variety of fruits. Janmashtami is a very fun festival in nature as it focuses on enacting the childhood occurrences with Lord Krishna in the form of Raas Leela where little Krishna is found stealing butter hanging on earthen pots.

Janmashtami is celebrated in a myriad of different ways throughout the country. Although he spent most parts of his life in North India, this blue deity finds deeper adoration in the hearts of the people living in the South. The floors are decorated with murals of rice batter, devotional songs are sung at all times and a range of sweets and fruits are offered whilst the devotees follow a strict fast through the day. The tradition of enacting Ras Leela , locally known as Vittal Pindi, in Karnataka is a very popular and significant part of the festival where locals dress up and perform the divine play reenacting similarly to how Lord Krishna had performed with Radhan and the Gopis of Vrindavan. To the further charm these festivities, Huli Vesha Dancers perform a plethora of attractive dances ending with the local boys ganging up to form a sort of human tower or pyramid, where one person climbs on the others to reach up to the top and get upto a height where they can access the dahi handi hanging, in order to break it and commemorate this festive day.

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