Sri Krishna Jayanti or Sri Krishna Janmashtami is the birthday of Lord Krishna. It is also referred as Gokulashtami or Krishnaashtami or Sri Jayanti. Like the numerous names of the festival, Sri Krishna Jayanti is celebrated by different Hindu sects on two different days. The true significance of Sri Krishna is that he is relevant in the present and even more relevant for the future.
A twenty-four hour fast is observed on Sri Krishna Jayanti and this is broken at midnight. The most important mantra recited on the day is ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.’
Sri Krishna Janmashtami or Sri Krishna Jayanti is mainly celebrated in Lord Krishna or Vishnu temples. Hindu spiritual organizations conduct numerous programs like discourses, dramas and processions on the day.
Pujas involve offering flowers and performing Arati.
Reciting or listening to Srimad Bhagavad Purna or Bhagavatam is highly auspicious on the day.
Some devotees observe fast and spend time in temples or listening to discourses.
The main worship in temples takes place at midnight when Lord Krishna was born.
In South India lot of savories like murukku, seddai, thatai are prepared along with sweetened poha (flattened rice) as Lord Krishna loves poha. Devotees put beautiful rangolis ( patterns made with rice flour) in the entrance of their homes along with small footsteps drawn indicating the arrival of Lord into their homes.
Spiritual significance of the festival is described in another post.