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Sri Krishna Janmashtami : "Dahihandi Festival"

Sri Krishna Janmashtami celebrates the birthday of Lord Krishna and is observed on the eighth day of the Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapad month as per traditional calendar followed in North India. The corresponding months in other region is the Shravan month. In 2012, the date of Janmashtami in North India is August 10 and in other parts it is on August 9. In Tamil Nadu, it is observed on September 8, 2012. In Kerala, Sri Krishna Janmashtami is on September 8, 2012. Tamil Nadu and Kerala follow solar calendars and the festival is observed annually in Tamil month Aavani and Malayalam Chingam month in Kerala. Once in three years there is a difference in dates in calendars followed in other regions (which is lunar calendar) with the calendars followed in these two states.

Detail 2012 dates of Sri Krishna Janmashtami North India - Sri Krishna Janmashtami is on August 10. (vrat or fasting in North India is on August 9). Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka - August 9 Tamil Nadu and Kerala - September 8, 2012 (Here Janmashtami takes place on Rohini Nakshatram in Aavani and Chingam months - these two months begin only by mid august.)

Dahi Handi and Gopalakala in Maharashtra is on August 10.  The Sri Krishna Janmashtami is observed on different days in different parts of India and this is due to the differences in regional calendars and also due to the various calculations in the time of the birth of Krishna. The Smarta Tradition observes the festival on August 10 and the Vaishnava Tradition on August 9. In Maharashtra, Janmashtami is famous for the Dahi Handi and the next day is observed as Gopalkala. Special pujas are held in Sri Krishna Temples around the world. Special poojas and rituals are also held at midnight – the time of Krishna’s birth. Processions with tabloids depicting various episodes from the life of Shri Krishna enacted by children are a major highlight of the festival. Staunch Krishna devotees fast on the day and it is a 24-hour fast.

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