Ashtami Rohini is the celebration of the birthday of Lord Krishna. The festival is same as Krishna’s Janmashtami in north India but, with regional variations. Ashtami Rohini falls in the Malayalese month of Chingam [August-September]. This falls under Rohini Nakshatra [fourth lunar asterism] on 8th quart of the moon Ashtami.
Celebrating Ashtami Rohini:
Ashtami Rohini is also known as Gokulashtami, Krishna Jayanti, and Janmashtami. On this day, devotees of Lord Krishna observe fasting [vratham]. Lord Krishna’s birth ‘Avathaaram’ took place at mid-night. Women, especially Namboothiri women, remain awake till mid-night and keep a vigil to the Lord. Women pass their time with recreational activities and merriment. Generally, the girls perform the graceful Kaikottikkali and sing songs. It is only after performing the traditional Pujas at mid-night. The devotees partake things that have already been offered to the Lord.
Krishna temples are brilliantly decorated at this time with oil lamps. The festivities continue till early hours of morning. Several devotees gather on this day for a glimpse of their Lord in full shringar. Major celebrations take place in the Guruvayur Devaswom. The devotees visit this temple with Appam and Palpayasam [cakes of rice paste and jaggery]. These items are the Lord’s favourite food. Special feasts are arranged for the devotees by various Krishna temples on this day.