Being a land of antiquated traditions and diverse religions, a number of festivals are observed in India with utmost zeal and devotion. Amongst these is the highly revered festival of Ashtami Rohini, celebrated across the state of Kerala to commemorate the birthday of Lord Krishna. The occasion calls for a truly marvellous celebration in the state’s north-eastern district of Wayanad.
Apart from being a popular festival in Kerala, the much-loved festival is even celebrated across the country. It goes by different names such as Srikrishna Jayanti, Gokulashtami, Saatam Aatham, or Krishna Janmashtami.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna is believed to have been the mightiest of all the human incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The festival of Ashtami Rohini, which is celebrated on the eighth day after the appearance of the full moon in the holy month of Shravana, commemorates the birth of the Lord. Legends state the Krishna defied all odds to come to earth at midnight, despite all the obstacles that his evil uncle, Kansa, created for him.
On the auspicious day of the festival, devotees flock to Wayanad’s many Krishna temples to offer up their prayers and to seek blessings. To mark the occasion, a medley of hymns fills the air while locals dance to their heart’s delight to showcase their happiness. The stunning processions of the Lord, known as ‘Shobha Yatras’, attract hundreds of devotees almost every year.
Apart from all the frolic and revelry, people also fast for an entire day as a way of offering their veneration to the Lord. The fast is only broken at midnight, when it is believed that Lord Krishna was born.
There are many other local festivals of Wayanad such as the two-day Thirunelli Festival, which is celebrated with absolute enthusiasm and joy.
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