Janmashtami is an annual celebration of the birth of the Hindu deity Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu. The festival is celebrated on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Shravana (August-September) in the Hindu calendar. Hindus celebrate Janmashtami by fasting and staying up until midnight, the time when Krishna is believed to have been born.
Images of Krishna's childhood are placed in swings and cradles in temples and homes. At midnight, devotees gather around for devotional songs, dance and exchange gifts. Some temples also conduct readings of the Hindu religious scripture Bhagavad Gita. Dahi Handi is also played in India that depicts the mischievous side of Lord Krishna. Krishna Janmashtami is followed by the festival Nandotsav, which celebrates the occasion when Nanda Baba distributed gifts to the community in honour of the birth.
The birthplace of Krishna, Mathura and Vrindavan celebrate this occasion with great enthusiasm and splendour. Religious plays or Raslilas are performed to recreate events from the life of Lord Krishna and to honour Lords love for Radha. Devotees gather to these pious places to celebrate Janmashtami. On this auspicious day, homes and temples are decorated and illuminated beautifully.
Singing and dancing are marked as the celebration of this festive all over northern India. At midnight, the figurine of baby Krishna is bathed and laid in a cradle, which is rocked, amidst the ringing of bells. In the state of Maharashtra, people enact the Krishna's childhood attempts to steal butter and curd from earthen pots which were beyond lords reach. A similar earthen pot is suspended high above the ground and groups of people form human pyramids and try to reach the pot and break it. The town of Dwarka in Gujarat which is Krishna's own land witnesses hordes of visitors gathering here for celebrations. 5th September 2015 is date for Janmashtami.