Krishna Janmashtami, also known as Gokulashtami, Shri Krishna Jayanti, or sometimes just Janmasthami is a festival celebrating the appearance of Lord Krishna, the eighth avatara (incarnation) of Vishnu. Literially janma means birth and ashthami means eighth.
Krishna Janmashtami is observed on the eighth lunar day of the dark half of (krishna paksha) the month of Shraavan when the rohini nakshatra is rising. There is often confusion regarding the right day to celebrate Jamnasthami because both calendar requirement do not always coincide perfectly and because calendars may be prepared for different parts of the world, Consequently, it is common to find different temples celebrating the festival a day apart.
The festival falls in the months of August/September of the western calendar. Janmasthami is always celebrated with puja and a bathing ceremony for baby Krishna and it usually lasts until midnight, the time when Krishna appeared on earth. At midnight a special aarti takes place and sweets are thrown from the altar as a prasada.
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