Janmasthami occurs on the eighth day of the Krishna Paksha or a dark fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada
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Janmashtami, also popularly known as Gokulashtami, is celebrated in remembrance of Lord Krishna's birth. According to Indian mythology, Lord Krishna was the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Janmashtami is held on the eighth day (Ashtami) of Krishna Paksha (waning phase) of the Bhadrapada month, which generally falls in August or September, according to the Hindu lunar calendar.
This year Krishna Janmashtami is being celebrated on August 18.
Janmashtami History and Significance:
Janmasthami occurs on the eighth day of the Krishna Paksha or a dark fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada. Lord Krishna was born to eliminate the evil king of Mathura, Kansa, who was the brother of Krishna’s mother, Devaki.
Krishna's uncle, King Kansa, had imprisoned his parents, Vasudev and Devaki, after a soothsayer said that their eighth son would cause his death.
When Krishna was born, his father, Vasudev, managed to escape from the prison and went to Gokul. He left his child with Yashodha and Nanda Baba in Gokul. Krishna was a beautiful child and loved butter. And in order to keep their butter from being stolen by the child, many women in Gokul used to tie their pots with butter at heights where he couldn't reach. But, the child with help of his friends, would construct human pyramids to steal the butter. This is considered to be a part of the Dahi Handi festivities.
Krishna Janmashtami Date:
Krishna Janmasthami falls on two consecutive days. The first appears Smarta Sampradaya and the other is Vaishnava Sampradaya.
Puja timings for Krishna Janmashtami
On Ashtami Tithi, the laddu Gopal Puja is performed. This year, Ashtami tithi starts from 9:20 pm on August 18 till 10:59 pm on August 19. However, the celebration of Krishna Janmashtami is marked around midnight.
Shubh Muhurat to celebrate Krishna Janmashtami
Ashtami Tithi begins at 09:20 pm on Thursday, August 18.
Ashtami Tithi ends at 10:59 pm on Friday, August 19.
Rohini Nakshatra begins at 01:53 am on Saturday, August 20.
Rohini Nakshatra ends at 04:40 am on Sunday, August 21.
(Source for Timings and Tithi: Drik Panchang)