Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated in a grand manner throughout the country, but in Bhaktapur, it is celebrated in a unique way. In Bhaktapur, people celebrate Krishna Janmashtami by carrying oil lamps on their heads, hands, and shoulders while circumambulating the city.
Every year, the tradition of celebrating Krishna Janmashtami in this manner is followed here.
According to tradition, the Deep Prajwalan Yatra (Oil Lamp Procession) for Krishna Janmashtami begins at the Suryamadhi Vakupati area, Ward No. 9 of Bhaktapur Municipality, from the Changunarayan Temple premises. The procession then continues as it circumambulates the city. In addition to the Gaijatra’s traditional Ghintangisi dance route, the Deep Prajwalan Yatra for Krishna Janmashtami also takes place. Finally, the procession concludes at the starting point.
As per tradition, in Bhaktapur, the Deep Prajwalan Yatra for Krishna Janmashtami was held today, on Wednesday. Every year, on the eighth day of Janai Purnima, which corresponds to Krishna Janmashtami, this unique tradition of celebrating Krishna Janmashtami with the Oil Lamp Procession is observed here.
On this day, the women of the Newar community in Bhaktapur wear traditional Hakupatasi (local black attire), while men don Daura-Suruwal (traditional Nepali attire with a specific type of trousers) and participate in the Oil Lamp Procession while circumambulating the market.
During this Oil Lamp Procession, there was the participation of musical bands and Dafa Bhajan groups.
Krishna Janmashtami, commonly referred to as Janmashtami,Shree krishna Janmashtami or Gokulashtami, is a yearly Hindu festival that honors the birth of Lord Krishna, the Eighth Manifestation of Lord Bishnu. On the Eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Pakshya (Dark Fortnight) in Shrawan or Bhadra month, which coincides with August or September on the Gregorian calendar (depending on whether the calendar selects the New Moon or Full Moon day as the last day of the month), it is obsived according to the Hindu Lunisolar Calendar.
Photo: Sid Mertz