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).
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."
Scroll down to check the photos of people celebrating this festive:
Schoolgirls dressed as Radha, the consort of Hindu Lord Krishna, look at a child dressed as Krishna during the celebrations to mark Janmashtami festival in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad August 27. REUTERS/Amit Dave
Schoolchildren dressed as the Hindu Lord Krishna (L) and his consort Radha take part in celebrations to mark the Janmashtami festival in Jammu August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta
A student dressed as Hindu Lord Krishna takes part in the celebrations to mark Janmashtami festival at a college in the southern Indian city of Chennai August 27, 2013.REUTERS/Babu
A schoolboy dressed as the Hindu Lord Krishna rehearses for his performance inside a classroom during the celebrations to mark Janmashtami festival in New Delhi August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee
Devotees gather near the Krishna Temple to offer prayers during the Krishna Janmasthami festival in Lalitpur August 28, 2013. Krishna Janmashtami, a festival marking the birth of Hindu god Krishna, is celebrated by Hindus throughout the world. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
A girl stands at the door of her house as a street vendor arranges a portrait of Hindu god Krishna during the Krishna Janmasthami festival in Lalitpur August 28, 2013. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
A girl dressed as Hindu Lord Krishna (C) dances with others dressed as his consort Radha during celebrations ahead of the Janmashtami festival in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad August 25, 2013. REUTERS/Amit Dave
Students dressed as the Hindu Lord Krishna (L) and his consort Radha take part in celebrations to mark the Janmashtami festival in the northern Indian city of Amritsar August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Munish Sharma
Devotees form a human pyramid to break a clay pot containing curd during the celebrations to mark the Hindu festival of Janmashtami in Mumbai August 10, 2012. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Devotees try to form a human pyramid to break a clay pot containing curd during the celebrations to mark the Hindu festival of Janmashtami in Mumbai August 10, 2012. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui