Historians trace Hinduism to the pre-Vedic age in South Asia—an epoch that ended roughly 1,800 years before the New Testament was written. Like other religions that have thrived with the passage of time, Hinduism encompasses many denominations—a reflection of how its original tenets were gradually assimilated with others, creating new traditions. Some time long ago, Janmashtami festivals that mark Krishna’s birthday became a new type of deistic veneration.

One reason for Hinduism’s staying power is attributable to the unflappable Krishna himself. As River Comics shows in our Lord Krishna stories, he set the tone for all that’s considered right and just for adherents of the Hindu faith, just as he has done for four millennia, and counting.

Who Is Krishna, the Hindu Deity?

Krishna is the eighth and final avatar of Vishnu, who is one of the three principal Hindu deities. Having become one of the most well-loved deities to which Hindus pay homage, he is the god of love, tenderness, and passion.

In addition to being portrayed as a model lover, Krishna is also sketched as a prankster. As is common among gods in polytheism, his character contains elements of paradox, yet without implying scandal. He may be a prankster, but he stands for kindness, and he remains an ambassador of love. As the “supreme being” and god of love, he is also love’s sovereignty.

What Is a Janmashtami Festival?

Krishna birthday celebrations are officially known as Janmashtami festivals. Using the Hindu lunisolar calendar, we commemorate his birth at two times: in the fifth month, when the lunar phase of the eighth day begins; and in the sixth month, when the lunisolar phase of the eighth day commences.

The first day of the festival begins at midnight, the time of day when Krishna was born. Fasting begins and gradually transitions into collective night vigil, which ends in a celebratory mahotsava. The next day, festivities continue all over the world. Eclectic styles and designs meet traditional rites, creating the perfect atmosphere for a Krishna birthday party.

Do I Need to Be Hindu to Attend?

You don’t need to be Hindu to enjoy Janmashtami festivals. The colorful occasions draw curiosity seekers, as well as all who love Hindu culture. Performers in the festivals core events almost always embrace the Hindu faith. Their faith’s expression gives Krishna a birthday celebration that is full of passion, from one midnight to the next, until the festivals conclude.

If you plan to attend your first Janmashtami, make sure you brush up on the tale of Krishna today!