Janamashtmi: Celebration of Togetherness
Created by Anurima Updated on Aug 18, 2014
Krishna Janmashtami commemorates the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in his earthly avatar as Lord Krishna. In short, it is the birthday of Lord Krishna, which is celebrated with great devotion and passion around the world by the devotees of Krishna. Like many names of Krishna, his birthday too is known by different names- Krishnashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti, Sree Jayanti or most of the time merely as Janmashtami.
“What is in the name?” This annual festival is celebrated with same faith and vigor on Ashtami (eighth day) of the Krishna Paksha(dark fortnight) in the month of Bhadrapad(August or September) according to Hindu calendar all over the country and beyond it too. The day long fasting ends in feasting after performing the puja and aarti in the midnight, the time when Lord Krishna is believed to have been born.
Facts aside, now let us face the reality. Festivals come with a bonus, a holiday for all, family get together, meeting with friends, decorating house for the celebrations, gossiping, visiting temples, planning for the evening, preparing Prasad… loads of work to do along with managing children at home enjoying their holiday in front of television or laptop which you will definitely not like.
You want them to participate in the festival enthusiastically. But for them it might be yet another holiday which they want to spend as they wish. It is our responsibility as a parent, to teach them the importance of festival, celebrations and togetherness. How?
Think creatively and utilize their burst of energy. Just take a few ideas from me and add more from yourself. Believe me it will be a fun filled memorable Janmashtami for all.
Birthday Celebration: Ask the children to decorate the house for the birthday celebration; after all, it is the birthday of Krishna. Plan for a community celebration and make the children in charge of beautifying the society or neighborhood. Let them vote a captain among them under whose leadership they will work. Give them a free hand in it and let the creativity flow. Remember your childhood days when you used to do the same. They will do it much better.
Cultural Evening: Just throw the idea of organizing a cultural evening to the children. Dance, music, bhajan, drama, anything they want. Let the adults participate in it too. The preparation for a fun filled cultural evening will keep the children busy. It will keep them away from electronic gadgets too. Don’t forget to set your alarm. Once the evening starts, you won’t know when the clock struck 12.
Talent Hunt: It will be difficult for the toddlers to match the steps with grown up kids. A little grown up kids will find their presence an obstacle in their work. Don’t worry. Encourage the elder kids to organize friendly competitions for them. Painting, dance, storytelling, singing, or a mini sports day, it will keep everyone engage and will be fun too.
Bonding with seniors: This is the one cherished memory from childhood days hard to forget- Grandparents stories. The fact is that we all have heard the stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana from our grandparents before even we learned to read it in Amar Chitra Kathas. Isn’t it so? Organize a Krishnaleela story session where all the seniors of the house will narrate the stories to the youngsters. Sit as a family and enjoy the stories to refresh your childhood days along with your children. It will enlighten the kids; they will know more about the culture and tradition and make the bonding with their grandparents even stronger.
Community Service: Family get together, fun, food and revelry…festival should not be limited to it. Think beyond it. Encourage your children to go out and even it is for just a day, spread that beautiful smile on the face of a less fortunate. Take them to celebrate the festival in an orphanage or an old age home or encourage them to feed the beggars whose number usually multiplies during festivals outside the temples. It will give immense satisfaction to you and will inculcate a value in the kids and make them compassionate.
Festivals are enjoyed more when celebrated together. End the celebration together in the midnight with devotional songs playing in the background and room filled with the laughter of your loved ones. A day well spent. Happy Janmashtami.