Devotees are celebrating Janmashtami on Sunday to mark the birth of Lord Krishna.
Krishna is regarded as the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The lord was born to king Vasudeva and Devaki of Mathura at midnight on the eighth day of the Shravan month in the Hindu calendar.
The festival is also popularly known as Srikrishna Jayanthi and Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini and Saatam Aatham.
Devotees celebrate the auspicious occasion by fasting throughout the day. They offer prayers to Lord Krishna and also chant holy mantras, read religious scripture Bhagavad Gita, conduct bhajans, on this day.
Devotees also observe Dahi Handi and Rasa Lila as part of the celebrations. Dahi Handi is celebrated based on the legend that Krishna would steal butter from gopis (milkmaids) of Vrindavan.
To celebrate Dahi Handi, an earthen pot filled with buttermilk is placed at a particular height. A human pyramid is formed to break the earthen pot. This festival is very popular in Maharashtra.
In Tamil Nadu, the same tradition is celebrated as Uriadi on the occasion of Gokulashtami.
Rasa Lila is another significant aspect of Krishna Janmashtami. According to the legend, Rasa Lila is a dance performed by Krishna along with Radha and other gopis. It is celebrated in Mathura, Vrindavan and in some regions of Manipur where Vaishnavism is followed.
Janmashtami greetings from political leaders and celebrities
On the special of Krishna Jansmashtami Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the people.
"Greetings on Janmashtami! May Lord Krishna bless our lives with peace, prosperity and happiness," PM tweeted.
Vice President Hamid Ansari also wished the citizens on Janmashtami. "I convey my warm greetings and good wishes to the citizens of our country on the joyous occasion of Janmashtami, marking the birthday of Lord Krishna.
"Lord Krishna's message of performing our duties with sincerity and devotion, without attachment to the results of our actions, remains a pertinent principle for salvation of humanity.
"On this auspicious day, let us resolve to rededicate ourselves to the teachings of Lord Krishna in order to build a peaceful, enlightened and just society," Ansari said in a press release.
"Lord Krishna's life is an inspiring lesson relevant even today. Wishing everyone Happy Janmashtami. Jai Shri Krishna!," tweeted Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel.
Several celebrities also took to Twitter to greet their fans.
Shabana Azmi tweeted: "Have super memories of janmashtmi from my childhood in Girgaum.Govinda Aala re resonates to this day. Janmashtami mubarak to all."
Farhan Akhtar tweeted: "Wish you all a Happy Janmashtami."
Sonu Nigam tweeted: "Gdmrning fmly..Janmashtami commemorates d birth of d most cmplete perfect soul on earth. 16 kalaa sampann Krishn. Prayers on dis day 2 all."
Khushbu tweeted: "Happu Janmashtami to all my dearies..may u be happy n prosper,today n always..stay blessed.. :-)."
Punit Malhotra tweeted: "Happy Janmashtami :) Am fascinated by these human pyramids... Itching to be part of one today :))."
Allu Sirish tweeted: "Happy Krishna Janmashtami. Do your duty. Write your tweets. Dont expect any favorites or retweets. #TwitterGita ;) :)"
Pranitha Subash tweeted: "Wishing you all a very very happy Sri Krishna Janmashtami."
Dhananjayan Govind of UTV Motion Pictures tweeted: "Happy Krishna Jayanthi / Janmashtami to all my friends & their families. May Lord Krishna arrive to bless us happiness & peace:-)."