Janamashtami or Gokul ashtami is one of the biggest Hindu festivals of the world.
We celebrate it to mark the birth of 8th avatar of Lord Vishnu- Shri Krishna. It is marked with various celebrations across the world. We also call it as Krishna janamashtami/GopalKala. We celebrate it with an elaborate Janamashtami food menu.
How to do we celebrate Janamashtami?
People dress up kids as Lord Krishna and Radha Rani across the world to mark the festival.
Most people throng to ISKCON temples across the world to celebrate and participate in the festivities.
The celebrations in Krishna janamasthali at Mathura are fabulous. So are celebrations at Braj, Puri, Vrindavan. Udupi, Dwarka, Nathdwara and Guruvayur.
Festivities begin before dawn and extend until the next day.
On this day, many devotees fast until midnight, to seek Krishna’s blessings.
Everyone is overwhelmed with Bhakti Ras.
We also do the abhishek. First, we bathe the deities in holy water and milk. Next is saffron, rose petals and sandalwood. The whole atmosphere looks surreal amidst chanting of hymns. Later, we offer sweets to the Lord and distribute it as prasad or bhog.
What are the other Sri Krishna Jayanti traditions?
From Dahi Handi in the west, to enacting dance dramas/Raas Lila in the east. From Kolam in Tamil Nadu to Kite flying in Jammu, the whole country celebrates with great fervor. Other traditions are fasting, jagran or celebratory night vigil at temples.
What is offered to Lord Krishna as bhog?
Food is synonymous with festivals in India. We celebrate Gopalkala with milk based sweets. Dahi/yogurt, makhan are a favorite of Lord Krishna. Below are our top Janamashtami recipes which you can make easily at home.
Read our top Janamashtami recipes
- Homemade Instant mawa/khoya- This forms the base of many sweets in India like peda, milk cake, burfi, gulab jamun,etc.
2. Mathura Peda -Synonymous with Janamashtami. Northern cousin of Dharwad peda.
3. Kesar Rajbhog- Richer cousin of Rassogulla made with stuffing of nuts inside cheese balls dunked in saffron syrup.
5. Rasmalai - creamy cheese cake without the crust. Steamed cheese balls dunked in milk cream.
6 .Mango Kalakand - Mango based sweet made with mawa/chhena. Widely popular in North India. For non-fruit version, try Sindhi Bhugal mawa.
7. Gulab Jamun- Gulab Jamun/Mawa bati made with khoya,maida and milk powder. For a gluten-free version click below which has no maida in it.
8. Rabri/Rabdi - Sweet made with reduced milk sugar and saffron/nuts optionally. Creamy and yum!
9. Rasgulla/Rassogulla - Steamed balls of chhena/paneer/cottage cheese dunked in light sugar syrup. For a jaggery based version click Nolen Gurer Rassgulla.
10. Shrikhand - Simple sweet Made with hung yogurt.