Janmashtami is the birth of Bhagwan Sri Krishna, the most famous Gods of Hindu religion. It is celebrated on the eighth day [Ashtami] of the Sravana or Savana month. Lord Krishna was born on the Rohini Nakshatram [star]. Generally, this festival is observed in August-September according to the Gregorian calendar. According to the legend, Krishna was born on a dark, stormy and windy night. He came to Earth to end the rule and atrocities of his maternal uncle, Kansa.
Position of Stars at the time of Birth:
Lord appeared on Janmashtami. The date was on the eighth day of the second fortnight in Sravana month. The exact time was when the moon enters the house of Vrishabha in Rohini Nakshatra [star]. According to Barhapatyamana, Sravana month corresponds to Bhadrapada month Krishnapaksha. Lord Krishna was born in the year of Visvavasu, approximately 5,227 years ago.
Celebrated for over Two Days:
Janmashtami is celebrated for over two days. This may occur when Rohini Nakshatra and Ashtami do not fall on the same day. First day is Krishnashtami while Kalashtami is the second day. Bhagwan Krishna was born on the first day. This is on the eighth day after Raksha Bandhan in August.
Welcome the Lord at Midnight:
The actual festivities begin during midnight in this 48 hour period. The celebration reaches its peak at midnight, with the birth of Lord Krishna. Celebration includes singing hymns, arti being held, blowing conch [shankh], and rocking cradle of Lord. The idol of lord is bathed with Panchamrit [mixture of milk, ghee, oil, honey and Gangajal]. The Panchamrit is later distributed as Prasad to the devotees along with other sweets. Some devotees fast on the first day and break it at midnight. Others fasting continues for both days. Always, Janmashtami coincides with the peak of rainy season.