Radha Ashtami 2017: What is Radha Ashtami? Why is it celebrated in India?

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Published: August 29, 2017 4:39:30 PM

Radha Ashtami is celebrated 15 days after 'Janmashtami' that marks the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna.

Radha Ashtami, is a holy festival that marks the birth anniversary of Radharani. (Representative photo: Reuters)

Radha Ashtami, is a holy festival that marks the birth anniversary of Radharani. According to traditional belief, when Lord Vishnu took ‘avatar’ as Krishna, Goddess Laxmi appeared as ‘Radharani’, reported One India. The day is also known Radha Jayanti. Radha is Lord Krishna’s consort and holds great significance in Hindu mythology. The festival is celebrated 15 days after ‘Janmashtami’ that marks the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. As per the report by One India, Radha Ashtami falls on the eighth day of the Shukla Paksha during the month of Bhadrapad according to the Hindu calendar. This year Radha Ashtami 2017 has fallen on August 29, Tuesday.

The birth of Radha holds an important event in the Hindu calendar and like most of festivals in India, Radha Ashtami too is characterized by a puja or prayer session and a fast. On this day, the devotees offer dhoop, flowers, incense sticks, akshat, kukmkum, roli, and shringaar items to the idols. People worship Goddess Radha during Madhyahna Kala (noon time) and chant mantra, as per the report by One India. People also get together for prayer and chanting sessions in temples.

While the main part of the celebration is to perform puja and do fasting, other festivities in some parts of India also include performing folk dances, singing songs, depicting stories of Radha and Krishna and preparing local delicacies and sweets to break the fast, as reported by India.com. The celebration in Barsana -which is a village near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh – is quite grand as it is believed to be the birthplace of Radha. ISKCON temples in north India also observes the festival of Radha Ashtami with great devotion and cheer.

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