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Fairs & Festivals
The little town comes alive with colourful festivals throughout the year. During the festival of colour which heralds the onset of spring. Several classical and folk artistes render enthralling performances.
Janmashtami, the birthday of Shri Krishna is celebrated with great pomp and splendour throughout Braj. The Raaslila is enacted recreating the many legends of Shri Krishna's life - his amorous dalliances with the gopies. Ceremonies in the temples at midnight include the bathing of the image of infant Krishna which is then placed in a silver cradle. Songs of devotion are sung and toys offered for the amusement of the divine child. Thousands gather to offer their prayers and Mathura is astir with their devotion and celebrations.
The important fairs and festivals of the Braj include :
Krishna Janmashtami

 

Janmashtami

 

Krishna was born to Devaki well past midnight on the eighth day of the sixth month of the Indian Calendar. The day is celebrated by the followers of Krishna in Braj for two reasons. One, it marked the beginning of efforts to destroy evil and restore a just socio-religious order. And two, it was an occasion for rejoicing in the house of Nand as, after a long wait, Nand and Yashoda had a male child of a radiant face and bewitching smile.
The celebrations in the temples of Braj involve a very elaborate puja in the morning commonly described as Mahabhishek. A special midnight celebration is held coinciding with the time of the birth of Krishna.
Radha Ashtami

 

Radha Ashtami

 

The birthday of Shri Radha is celebrated 15 days after Krishna Janmashtami. Whereas Krishna's birth is marked with solemnity. Radha's birth celebrations are marked with joy and abandon. The center of festivities remains Barsana, the land of Shri Radha, specially her temple on top of the Brahma hill.
Celebrations are also held in places and temples associated with her memory, for example, the temple of Radhavallabh at Vrindhavan as also at Sevakunj. In the Radhavallabh temple, the celebrations start with the distribution of clothes, cereals, fruits and sweets to all and sundry. The singing and dancing, and spells of the spray of saffron-coloured milk deep thee devotees amused and provide a lot of excitement to the spectators in the galleries above.
Basant Panchami

 

Basant Panchami

 

The end of February almost marks the end of the winter season. The spring season is celebrated as a festival called 'Basant Panchami'. Pale yellow is the colour that predominates in all the festivities ranging from the dresses worn by local devotees, the idol's decorations, and the festive flower arrangements made.
Barsana Lathamar Holi

 

Barsana Lathamar Holi

 

takes place well before the actual Holi celebration. It takes place at Barsana near Mathura in the state of Uttar Pradesh. People flock to the suburban town of Barsana near Mathura to see Lath Mar Holi, a special form of traditional festivity.[citation needed] Legend has it that Lord Krishna visited his beloved Radha's village on this day and playfully teased her and her friends. Taking offence at this, the women of Barsana chased him away. Since then, men from Krishna's village, Nandgaon, visit Barsana to play Holi in the town which has the distinction of having the only temple dedicated to Radha in India.[citation needed] In the sprawling compound of the Radha Rani temple in Barsana, thousands gather to witness the Lath Mar holi when women beat up men with sticks as those on the sidelines become hysterical, sing Holi Songs and shout Sri Radhey or Sri Krishna. The Holi songs of Braj mandal are sung in pure Braj Bhasha.
Phool Bangla

 

Phool Bangla

 

Vrindavan has a tradition of Phool Bangalas to keep the summer heat away from Sri Radha Krishna. The temple is converted into a palace made of flowers. Sri Banke Bihari temple has Phool Bangalas everyday from the festival of Akshay Teej to Saavan Hariyali Amavasya. Biharijiís clothes are also made of flowers, when a Phool Bangla is made.
Nandotsava

 

Nandotsava

 

Nandotsav is a festival celebrated on the next day of Janmashtami- Lord Krishna's birth; It is believed that all the villagers of Braj visited Nand Baba's house to see little Krishna and congratulate Mata Yashoda. Nand Baba distributed ornaments[disambiguation needed], clothes, cattle and various other valuables among saints and sages. All saints and sages bestowed blessings on Lord Krishna in return. In Vrindavan this auspicious day is celebrated very pompously in the Radhavallabh Temple. Panchamrit abhisheka and Maha aarti is performed in honour of Lord Krishna's birth. On this day people celebrate 'Govinda'- Devotees form small groups and break Maakhan Haandis tied to ropes on high rise buildings.
Festival Location Month
Basant Panchami Vrindavan Jan/feb
Akshya tritiya Vrindavan April/May
Hindole Mathura, Vrindavan July/August
Baldeo Chhet Baldeo August/Sep
Matki Leela Banaras August/Sep
Haridas Jayanti Vrindavan August/Sep
Deepawali/Deepdan Mathura/Govardhan Oct/November
Annakoot/Govardhan Pooja Govardhan Oct/November
Yam Dwitiya Vishram Fhat, Mathura Oct/November
Kans Vadh Mathura Sept
Akshaya Navami Vrindavan Oct/Nov
Dauji Ki Poornima Baldeo Nov/December
Hariyali Teej Braj Mandal July
 
 
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