Janmashtami, Krishna's Birthday

Hindus believe in one god, Brahman, who has no form and cannot be seen but is present in all things. Each of the many Hindu deities represents an aspect of Brahman. the principal deities are Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. According to hindus, Krishna is an avatar(physical form) of Vishnu, who comes to Earth to protect the good people, punish the wicked and restore true religion. there are 10 avataras, and Krishna is one of the most popular. He reminds people of the love between Brahman and human beings. Janmashtami is a joyful hindu festival to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna. It takes place on the anniversary of Krishna's birth in August/ September. For some Hindus, this is the important festival of the year.

There are many exciting stories about Krishna told in the famous Hindu book the Mahabharata. It is said that the god Vishnu was persuaded to come to Earth as the avatar Krishna beacuse demons were about to overcome the gods. the demon-king, Kamsa, planned to kill Krishna as a little baby. But when the baby was born, his father swapped him for another woman's baby girl. When Kamsa came to kill Krishna he found this baby girl, who miraculously escaped when he tried to murder her. Later in life, krishna challenged Kamsa and killed him.

Chariots and Battle
Chariot The Bhagavad-Gita is a long poem in the Mahabharata. Within it is a discussion between Krishna and the warrior Arjuna that takes place on the battlefield. the battle is between good and evil, action and inaction and between knowledge and ignorance. Krishna persuades Arjuna into action and becomes his charioteer. After many battles both armies are almost completely destroyed. krishna is one of the few survivors but he dies soon after. While meditating in a forest, a hunter mistakes him for a deer and shoots him with a fatal arrow. At his death, Krishna rises to heaven where he is greeted by the gods.

Celebrating Janmashtami
On the festival, people decorate their homes and temples to welcome the birth of Krishna, and they may fast. An image of the newborn Krishna is placed on a swing in the temple. At midnight, the image is bathed in Chamamrita--curd mixed with milk, dry fruit and leaves. The arati ceremony is then performed. Lamps are moved in circles in front of the image of Krishna, and people sing religious songs. By now everyone is hungry. They break fast witha sweet called prasad, and may then eat a delicious Indian mela.