August Festivals and Fairs, 2016

Fairs / Festivals August 2016
Month Festival Place
August 5, 2016 Teej Festival North India
August 7 to 9, 2016 Gogamedi Fair Rajasthan
August 07, 2016 Nag Panchami All India
August 8, 2016 Mud Rush Maharashtra
August 8, 2016 Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race Kerala
August 14, 2016 Jhapan Mela West Bengal
August 15, 2016 Indian Independence Day All over India
August 18, 2016 Rakhi/Raksha Bandhan All over India
August 25, 2016 Janmashtami All over India
August 29, 2016 Athachamayam Thrippunithura Tripunithura
August 29 – September 8, 2016 Velankanni Church Feast Tamil Nadu


India is indeed a land of festivals. In bengale there is a quote which says "baro mashe tero parbon", meaning there are only 12 months in a year but 13 festivals to celebrate. Let’s take a look at the festivals and fairs coming up in the month of August.

Janmashtami: Celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna

When: 25th August

Janmashtami is one of the most auspicious and revered festivals of Hindus. Observed by the Hindu community in India and around the world, Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, who was an avtaar of Lord Vishnu. According to the Hindu calendar, Janmasthami is observed on the eighth day of Krishna Paksha in the Bhadrapad, which falls in August-September.

Janmashtami Aarti

History

The history of Janmashtami dates back to the epic age. Krishna took birth to kill Kansa, the tyrant ruler of the kingdom of Vrishni. The kingdom had its capital at Mathura, which is located in the present state of Uttar Pradesh. Kansa had taken the throne by unfair means. He grabbed the throne by imprisoning his father king Ugrasen who was a just and noble ruler. Unlike his father, Kansa not only proved to be an unworthy king but was also a tyrant. He unleashed a volley of pain and sufferings on the people of Mathura. There was a prophecy that Kansa would be killed by the eighth child of Deviki, his sister, and her husband Vasudeva. Afraid of his doom, Krishna had both Deviki and Vasudeva thrown in the prison where they had to put up with miserable conditions. However, Kansa's atrocities did not stop here. Determined to avoid his death at all costs Kansas killed Devaki's first six children mercilessly. He would do this by smashing the infants head on the wall. The seventh one was a miscarriage. When the eight child was born, Vasudeva slipped out of the prison where the officials had fallen asleep due to a miracle by God. Later, he reached Gokul where he exchanged Krishna with Nanda and Yashoda's daughter. Vasudeva brought Nanda's little daughter back to Mathura. Upon hearing about Deviki's delivery, an enraged Kansa stormed into the prison and attempted to kill the eighth child the same way as he had treated with the others. However, as he flung the child on the rock in an attempt to kill her, she rose up in the sky threatening Kansa about his impending death. Meanwhile, Krishna lived at Gokul and Vrindavan where he spent his early childhood. Later, Krishna returned to Mathura along with his brother Balram and killed Kansa relieving people from years of atrocities. Since then, Janmashtami is celebrated every year as Lord Krishna's birthday.


How is it Celebrated?

Janmashtami is celebrated on a grand scale all through the country; however, the most elaborate festivities are witnessed in Mathura and Vrindavan which are associated with Krishna's birth and childhood days. Here, people organize the ras-lilas, which are plays or dance performances depicting the flirtatious side of Krishna during his youth. Another popular event that is observed on this day is the organizing of Dahi handi. In his childhood, Krishna, along with his friends, would steal butter or dahi from handis which would be hung from the ceilings. In modern time, young men, who are also known as Govindas, enact the same scene. Handis are placed at a convenient height and young men would form a human tower and try to reach the handi. The person on the top of the pyramid would break the handi which would unusually be filled with butter, milk and other stuff. At times, a prize money is also added to the handi or the earthen pot. This festival is particularly popular in Maharashtra.

Temples on this day, wear a festive look. Many of them organize jhankis, which are depictions of Krishna's life starting from his birth, being carried to Gokul by his father, being discovered in Gokul and other events associated with his life. The celebrations take place at midnight and hordes of people can be seen visiting temples at this hour.

People decorate their homes and perform puja to seek the blessings of the Lord. It is also a major celebration in South India and in many homes, foot steps of Lord Krishna are made which begin from the entrance of the house and lead to the puja room.


Why is Janmashtami Celebrated?

Janamashtami is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Krishna, who is an avtaar of Lord Vishnu. It is an auspicious day for the Hindus and marks the victory of good over evil. Kansa, who was an uncle of Krishna, was an evil tyrant and the ruler of Mathura. He had unleashed a spate of brutalities on the populace of Mathura. He did not even spare his own family members. In order to gain the throne, he even had his father imprisoned. Upon hearing that his sister Devaki's son would be his doom, he had them imprisoned in the most miserable conditions. He did not relent from killing the couple's infants. However, Lord Krishna miraculously took birth without Kansa's knowledge. Later, he, along with his brother Balram, killed Kansa and put an end to the sufferings of the people of Mathura as well as his family members. Thus, Lord Krishna's birth is a big day – a day when the almighty personally took birth to eliminate evils prevalent on the earth.

Janmashtami Fasts

Worshipers of Lord Krishna exhibit their devotion to the God by observing fast on this day. There are two kinds of fasts observed on Janmashtami – Nirjal fast and Phalahar Fast. In the former kind of fast, devotees do not take food or water. At midnight, an aarti and special puja is performed following this prasad is offered to Lord Krishna. Thereafter, devotees break their fast by partaking prasad.

Phalahar is not as stringent as nirjal. Here, devotees have the liberty of consuming fruits and milk. However, cereals or any other food stuff should not be taken. But, like nirjal, Phalahar fast too is broken at midnight after the Janmashtami puja has been performed.


Janmashtami Decoration

The birth of Lord Krishna was one of the most magnanimous moments for mankind. It was an end to the sufferings and pain of the people. So, on Janmashtami, people welcome Lord Krishna by indulging in elaborate decorations. Temples and homes around the country wear a festive look and are a sight to behold. One of the most popular decorations that people buy on this day is the idol of Lord Krishna. Often young Krishna is seen playing the flute. Other than this, devotees also adorn their homes with the idol of Lord Krishna playing the flute with Radha by his side. These idols of Lord Krishna are decked up with colorful clothing, ornaments, garlands and peacock feathers. Another piece of decoration is that of baby Krishna in a cradle.

A common sight on Janmashtami is are beautiful walls hanging in homes and temples. Crafted with stones, glass and patchwork, these ethnic wall hangings reflect the traditions of the Hindu community or the various stages of the life of Lord Krishna. One will witness footsteps in many homes around the country. People also decorate the doors of their homes. They use elegant door hangings which are made of shinning mirror, glass beads, fancy motifs and other such stuff. Items associated with Lord Krishna such as peacock feathers, handis, flute and others are also hung on the walls.

Om is one of the most important elements of the Hindu religion and on the entrance of many homes you will see this feature on this day.


Janmashtami Bhajan

Janmashtami is incomplete without the melodious bhajans that are sung in praise of Lord Krishna. At the stroke of midnight, devotees in homes and in temples sing melodious bhajans. There are many fabulous bhajans and aartis that celebrate the accomplishments and teachings of Lord Krishna. While some of these bhajans depict the life of the Lord, others seek blessings. Some popular bhajans include Darshan Do Ghanshyam, Bhajo Radhe Govinda, Darshan Do Mohe Girdhari and many others.

Krishna Bhajan

Darsh do mohe girdhari
More pranpriye krishna
More pyare girdhari,
Darsh do mohe
More pran chhootat jat

Main neech nirbal prani
Chahta jana chhodd duniya ka sath
Darsh do mohe
More pran chhootat jat

Moh maya ke is bhanwar se
Do mujhe ab ubhar
Darsh do mohe
More pran chhootat jat

Karm ki gathariya ho gayi bhari
Karo mera uddhar
Darsh do mohe
More pran chhootat jat

Sumiran kar tera antim kshan mein
Mujhe milega swarg ka dwar
Darsh do mohe
More pran chhootat jat

More pyare girdhari
Sun lo ab arz humari
Darsh de mohe
More pran chhootat jat


Janmashtami Messages

Jai Kanhaiya Lal Ki
Sabhi Krishan ke pyare bhagtho ko janmashtami ki hardik badhaai.
Bhagwan Krishan ki kripa aap par sada bani rahe.
Happy gokulastami!
May Lord Krishna come to your house
And takes away all your your worries & sorrows.
Happy Janmashtami
Yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham

Let's celebrate the glory of Shri Krishna as he ascended to destroy the evil from the face of earth
HAPPY JANMASHTAMI !!

HAREY KRISHAN!
HAREY MURARI!
Hum sabke pyare Kanha ka Janam Divas
Mubarak Ho!
Liya janam aaj krishna ne
Pavitra din hai aaj ka, Janmashtami
Bhagwan shri krishna aapki har manokamna puri karen.

Janmashtami Quotes

And when immorality prevails, O Krishna, the women of the family become corrupted; when women are corrupted, social problems arise.
From : Bhaagvad Gita - Lord Krishna
Krishna insisted on outer cleanliness and inner cleansing. Clean clothes and clean minds are an ideal combination.
- Sai Baba
The wise sees knowledge and action as one; they see truly.
~ Bhagavad Gita
Perform your obligatory duty, because action is indeed better than inaction.
~ Bhagavad Gita
The mind is restless and difficult to restrain, but it is subdued by practice.
~ Bhagavad Gita
The disunited mind is far from wise; how can it meditate? How be at peace? When you know no peace, how can you know joy?
~ Bhagavad Gita

 

Janmashtami Related Links

 

Janmashtami Calendar
Date Day Year
28 August Wednesday 2013
17 August Sunday 2014
5 September Saturday 2015
25 August Thursday 2016

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Festivals

Teej Festival

When: August 05th

This festival is celebrated all over North India in Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, UP and Bihar. It marks the onset of the monsoon, and as per mythology this is the day that Lord Shiva and Parvati were united in the holy institution of matrimony.

Celebrations: Ladies fast for their husbands on this day. The fasting is rigorous, and many go without water. Teej is also a celebration of the union of divinity and thus the women foldk celebrate with colourful parties, singing, dancing, henna tattoos and swings. The speciality dish of Teej is the famous sweet Ghewar of Rajasthan.

Teej Festival Calendar
Date Day Year
12 August Tuesday 2014
17 August Thursday 2015
5th September Sunday 2016

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nag Panchami

When: August 07th

As per Hindu religion God is omnipresent and can be every single being that He has created. Based on this belief, Nag Panchami is celebrated all over India as veneration to snakes. It is observed on the fifth day of the full moon in the moth of Shravan as per Hindu calendar.

Significance & Celebrations: Shravan is the monsoon period when snakes tend to become abundant in numbers, and many fall prey to their bites. During Nag Panchami, Nag Devta (Cobra, the king of snakes) is worshipped, and offered milk with a prayer for protection from snake bites.

People keep a rigid fast on this day, houses are cleaned, and ploughing and tilling of land is not done as it disturbs the snakes which live there. Idols of snake made of clay are worshipped and offered milk, gandh, haldi (turmeric), chandan (sandalwood paste), and kesar (saffron).

The feast on this day includes sweetmeats like Sevai (vermicelli), rice items, Laddoo (sweet dish made of dried condiments), etc.

 

Nag Panchami Calendar
Date Day Year
11 August Sunday 2013
1 August Friday 2014
19 August Wednesday 2015
07 August Sunday 2016

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Velankanni Church Feast

When: August 29th – September 8th

Every year during this period the Annual Feast Of Our Lady Of Health is held in Velankanni, in the Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. Velankanni is one of the biggest Catholic pilgrimage centres with the Basilica Of Our Lady Of Health. September 8th, the day when the feast concludes, is considered auspicious by the Christians as this is the day that the first Church in India was constructed by the Portuguese. On this day the Christians celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of Mary.

Celebrations: Everyday during the feast, mass is held in the church in 6 different languages and 14 times a day. Christian from across India make a pilgrimage to Velankanni during the feast. It is believed that Our Lady of Health has healing powers.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fairs

Mud Rush

When: August 8th

The Mud Rush is an all terrain fun run which is in the form of a marathon. It is held in the Dudhani Lake in Silvassa. Yes, it is a fun run indeed as the participants have to tackle a 5 km stretch, complete with obstacles like 30-foot stacks of hay, water bodies, barrier walls, tires, fire, ice, and of course lots and lots of mud. The Mud Rush is followed by a party. This event is held as a welcome to the monsoons.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nehru Boat Race

When: August 8th

The Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race is held on the waters of the Punnamada Lake, in Alappuzha, Kerala. The race literally sets the placid waters of the lake on fire as the participants row magnificent snake boats. The strokes of the rowers are rhythmic and the synchronized and the entire event is spectacular to watch. This race is held to commemorate the visit of Jawaharlal Nehru to Alappuzha.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gogamedi Fair

When: August 7th – August 9th

Gogamedi Fair is held to commemorate Goga Veer, who as per mythology is the Snake God. The natives believe that a snake bite can be cured with the chanting of Goga Veer’s name, and thus they worship him as a hero.

This fair is an annual affair and is held in the vibrant state of Rajasthan. Livestock, village crop, and attractive handicrafts showcasing the excellent craftsmanship of the region are sold in this fair. The rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan is reflected in the Gogamedi fair.

Gogamedi Fair Calendar
Date Day Year
18 August Monday 2014
7 - 9 August Friday 2015
7 - 9 August Friday 2016