referred as janmashtam, Krishna Ashtami is one of the widely
followed festivals of Andhra Pradesh. Celebrated between the
month of august and September, Krishna Ashtami marks the
appearance of Lord Krishna on earth. The devotees maintain a
fast on the night of the festival and sing religious hymns.
The accurate celebration time of Krishna Ashtami depends on
the appearance of the star called rohini and the subsequent
occurrence of the ashtami tithi. The priests and other
ardent followers of Shri Krishna spend the entire night of
the occasion in praising the Lord with recitation of slokas
from the oldest
of Hindu mythology - bhagwat gita.
The following day of the festival starts with offering of
arghya to Krishna. People come to the specially made
mandapam which is enshrined with an idol of little Krishna.
The floor of the mandapam is tastefully decorated in the
form colorful designs of the foot prints of infant Krishna.
A pot filled with butter and sometimes money, is hung to the
ceiling of the mandapam with the help of a string. This one
is an integral part of Krishna Ashtami and is locally known
as utti. After offering prayers and food like jaggery and
ginger, the priest finishes off the puja ceremony with the
distribution of prasadams.
The special attraction of Krishna Ashtami is the point when
the people start hitting the pot in the hope that they will
be able to break it and get the delicious butter and milk.
While they engage themselves in targeting the pot, the
onlookers splash them with water to make the environment
more jovial. This ritual reminds one the deeds of Lord
Krishna in his childhood days when he used to break the pots
of butter and milk that were carefully stored in the utti by
his mother Yashoda.
In the remote parts of Andhra Pradesh, people make a cradle
inside the mandapam. After the festival gets over, the
statue of Lord Krishna is put in this cradle and a person
makes it swing back and forth. The process symbolizes the
utmost devotion and love of the followers for Shri Krishna.
The tradition of dressing the kids of the place with
Krishna's apparel and accessories is still prevalent in some
of the parts of Andhra Pradesh.
Signifying the sacred reincarnation of Shri Krishna on the
planet earth, the festival of Krishna Ashtami offer a scope
to the people of Andhra Pradesh to gather the blessings of