How to Celebrate Janmashtami at Home

How to Celebrate Janmashtami at Home

Deepthi K

Janmashtami is a festival widely celebrated by Hindu across the country and abroad. The festival is extremely popular and is known by many names. It is celebrated in various ways by devotees. Krishna Jayanthi, as the festival is also called, typically occurs on the eighth day after Raksha Bandhan. It is believed that the Lord’s birth star is Rohini. 

Temples dedicated to Lord Krishna such as the ISKCON temples are full of life on the occasion of Janmashtami. Devotees throng these shrines to seek the blessings of their beloved god and recite slokas or mantras from the Krishna chalisa in his honour.

Here are some tips on how to celebrate Janmashtami at home.

Observe a Fast

This is the most basic aspect of Janmashtami celebrations. Typically, people start fasting at dawn and break it with by having prasad at midnight. Children younger than seven years as well as elderly, those with medical conditions and of course, pregnant and lactating women shouldn’t fast.

Some people who would like to observe a fast but are not able to do a complete fast have light food such as milk, fruit, and water throughout the fasting period. Consuming liquor, meat or grains during the fast are not allowed.

Perform a Pooja

You can invite other relatives and friends or do pooja with just family members at home. The pooja does not have to be an elaborate affair. Keep a photo or idol of Krishna in your pooja room and decorate him with kumkum, sandal paste and a garland. If it is an idol, you can bathe it with fragrant water, honey, or milk depending on what is easily available.

Light a lamp and a couple of incense sticks before the idol or photo. Place some flowers and tulsi leaves at his feet. It is believed that the lord loves them. If you do not have a pooja room, you can do it in a clean place.  

Offer His Favourite Foods

You can make some of the lord’s favourite foods and offer them as prasad. Some of these foods are kheer, ladoos, khichidi, and makhan mishri. You can also offer savouries such as chaklis, fried rice balls, and poha. It is not necessary that you make a large quantity of his favourite dishes.  

Krishna is easy to please and accepts anything given to him with devotion and love. So, even if you offer him a cup butter, milk, or curd mixed with sugar or jaggery, it’d be perfect.

Decorate Your House

Add vibrance to your house with some decorations. It is a common practice to hang small earthen pots and bright decorative items at various places across the house. 

In south India, parents dip the feet of small children in a batter of rice flour and make them walk from the doorstep to the entrance of the pooja room. They believe that these foot prints represent the Lord’s arrival to their houses.

Dress Up the Kids

You can dress up little boys as Krishna and little girls as Radha. There are a wide range of Krishna and Radha costumes available for you to take your pick. If you cannot do this, you can opt for just any colourful outfit. This will add fun to the celebration.

Organise a Satsang

You can organise a satsang in the evening and invite people in your neighbourhood to participate in it. Group prayers and bhajans can help to fill the house with positive vibration. 

However, it is wise this year to avoid crowds. So a video meeting online would be a good way to carry the tradition forward. You could even read books featuring stories of the Lord. Reading the Bhagavad Gita is also a good idea. Reciting any Krishna sloka or mantra from the Krishna chalisa using a rosary or a japa mala is also a good idea. 

Some simple mantras that you can recite are Om Krishnaya Namah, Om Sri Krishnah Sharanam Mamah and Om Kleem Krishnaya Namaha. Each mantra has its own benefits.  

Hindus look forward to celebrating Janmashtami during the end of August or the beginning of September every year. They associate this festival as a means of connecting with Krishna. This day is often a holiday in India; and schools, offices, and businesses are closed on this day.

In case you are interested, get your premium copy of Krishna Chalisa here.