Janmashtami 2013: India Celebrates Lord Krishna's Birth Anniversary [PHOTOS]
India on Wednesday celebrated Hindu festival "Janmashtami", marking the birth of Lord Krishna, with much pomp and splendor.
The festival is celebrated across the whole country for two days with dramatic play Ras Lila and Dahi Handi. People also fast during this festival, which is also called Krishna Janmashtami or Gokulashtami.
Rasa Lila is a dramatic play depicting the story of Krishna as described in Hindu scriptures. Ras Lila is a special feature in Janmashtami and is performed especially in the UP regions of Mathura, believed to be the birth place of Lord Krishna, and Vrindavan.
Dahi handi or Mosaru Kudike is also an integral part of Janmashtami celebrations. It marks the mischievous and playful behaviour of Lord Krishna. According to Hindu mythology, Krishna along with his friends, known as govindas, formed a human pyramid to break an earthen pot filled with butter hanging from an elevated rope.
Krishna is the eight incarnation god Vishnu. He was born on the 8th day of the increasing phase of the moon, which in the Indian Calendar is known as "Ashtami". And with Janma meaning "birth", the day is celebrated as Janmashtami. The ocassion is also called Gokulashtami as he was born in Gokul (present day Mathura).
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President Pranab Mukherjee greeted the nation on the occasion of Janmashtami.
"Let us, on this sacred day, recall the teachings of Lord Krishna which have for centuries been an inspiration to us to follow the path of virtue and righteousness in thought, word and deed. On the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami, I extend heartiest greetings and best wishes to all my fellow citizens," Mukherjee said.
"May Lord Krishna's noble message of 'Nishkama karma' or duty without thought of reward, motivate all of us to work in unity and with selfless dedication for peace, prosperity and progress in our country."
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