What is the Hindu festival of Janmashtami?
Janmashtami is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna.
Kashav Sehra, a co-opted Trustee and a member of the Shree Geeta Bhavan Mandir in Handsworth, provided us an insight into the religious celebration:
What is Janmashtami?
Janmashtami is the birth of Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu. Janam meaning Birthday, and Ashtami referring to the eighth day of the month. The actual month is that of Shravan. Since the Hindu calendar follows the Lunar cycle (not the Gregorian calendar we are used to) the actual date varies every year, but it is usually in August or September.
What day is it celebrated?
This year it will be celebrated on the 2nd of September with some celebrating it on the 3rd. Celebrations at the Shree Geeta Bhavan Mandir will take place on Monday night, starting at 6pm.
The time of Krishna’s birth is midnight, hence the Aarti (main prayer service) being conducted at midnight.
How will most Hindus celebrate?
Most Hindus will celebrate it in their local Hindu temple as a get together and celebrate the birth of Krishna. This may be modern such as birthday cakes and dancing, with some short plays or traditional bhajans/hymns.
Are non-Hindus welcome?
Non-Hindus are always welcome, festival or not! But during Janmashtami, non-Hindus will especially enjoy the atmosphere and culture!
What do you enjoy?
I especially enjoy singing bhajans and accompanying other dinners and playing live music.