Gokulashtami in Goa

With festivals lined up on every alternate day of our calendar, the enthusiasm among people does not seems to die down. With a festival like Janamasthami and Gokulashtami, the adrenaline levels are at an all time high, as the state of Goa gears up to celebrate these festivals. The celebration takes place over two days.

Gokulashtami or Janamashtami? – Clear the confusion

What is the difference between Janamashtami and Gokulashtami? Gokulashtami is the first day of the celebration. “The day is spent in fast by devotees, which is broken at midnight which marks the birth of Lord Krishna”, expresses Sujay Kamulkar. Not everyone household performs the puja, but the select few who do, keep a fast that day. The idol of Lord Krishna is put in a cradle and swayed back and forth. At midnight that day, they celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna and also break their fast.
The next day, which is the second day of celebrations, the idol of Lord Krishna is either kept back in the prayer room or immersed in the well or river during afternoon hours. This day is called Janmashtami and is celebrated in a unique way. The male youth gather in a community and form a human pyramid to break a pot tied at a height.

The Traditions in Goa

As mentioned before, on the day of Gokulashtami families worship the idol and observe a fast. The next day, which is Janamaashtami, they immerse the idol in the afternoon. Another popular tradition is to break the pot filled with curd. Several such functions are held all over the state. Devotional songs are also sung by the devotees.

Mythology

The birth of Lord Krishna was a very torrid affair. Lord Krishna was believed to be born on ’Ashtami day’ which is the eighth day after Raksha Bandhan during the Hindu month of Shravan. He is the eight and one the most influential incarnations of Lord Vishnu who would bring life and light to earth, yet he was born at the darket hour at midnight. Due to the danger posed to his life, he was sent to live with a family in Gokul. There he turned out to be a mischievous little boy who fancied butter and curd.

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