India celebrated "Janmashtami" Friday, marking the birth of Hindu god Lord Krishna with fervor and joy across the country. Tiny tots dressed up as little Krishna and Radha, his consort, in colorful clothes and elaborate jewelry, participated with enthusiasm, adding color to the celebrations.
Krishnashtami, as it is also known, is an important festival of the Hindus and is widely celebrated with traditional ceremonies, fasting and recreational games and cultural events. Millions of people flock to Mathura, believed to be the birth place of Lord Krishna, and Vrindavan, where he grew up, to take part in the birthday celebrations.
The colorful festival has devotees visiting temples, offering prayers to the lord, fasting for the day and taking part in the cultural events. People decorate their houses with flowers and mango leaves, and scenes depicting the birth of Krishna are recreated using miniature dolls.
Dahi Handi or Mosaru Kudike competition is an integral part of the Janmashtami celebrations. It is a team sport where competing teams have to break an earthen pot filled with curd hung high on poles. The participants have to form a human pyramid to reach the pot and in some areas the pot is hung atop a pole that is greased with oil, preventing an easy climb.
Another attraction is fancy dress competitions and cultural events where children are dressed as little Krishnas and Radhas (incarnations of Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi according to the Hindu mythology), recreating the scenes from their life.
Here is a glimpse of the celebrations held at different places in the country.