Krishna Janmashtami is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Krishna who is believed to be the 8th reincarnation of Lord Vishnu and one of the most popular deities in Hinduism. The festival is also known as Gokulashtami or Janmashtami. On this day, people fast throughout the day, perform dance forms of Raslila, pray, sing Krishna bhajans, and prepare and share sweets till midnight when the Little Krishna was born.
To join in the joy this day brings, we have listed a few unusual activities you can do with kids to celebrate Krishna Janmashtami.
1. Write a three-to-five-liner poem about the life of Lord Krishna.
Famous poet Hafeez Jalandhari, author of Pakistan’s national anthem, eulogised Krishna in a poem that urges Krishna, as the King of Hindustan, to come back and relieve the world from pain and suffering.
Give light to your words and pen down a few lines about what you know about Lord Krishna. Let the world know how you and your kids feel about him.
2. Host a story-telling session about the life of Lord Krishna and Radha.
Children love story-telling and what better day to tell a wonderful story to them than today? So grab some chairs and invite the kids from the neighbourhood for a one-hour story-telling session along with some platters of fruits and lemonade.
3. Host a Dahi Handi in your garden or porch.
One of the ways to make this day memorable is to conduct a fun game for children and adults alike. But instead of pouring milk into the pot, fill it with candies, chocolates and coins instead. Give light to your words and pen down a few lines about what you know about Krishna. Let the world know how you and your kids feel about Lord Krishna.
4. Feed nonhuman animals on the street.
Instead of using milk to bathe Lord Krishna's idol or statue, take this milk to a calf roaming in the vicinity. Calves need the milk more than Lord Krishna. After all, he's a God who would prefer his devotees not to waste a valuable resource. Aside from milk, extend this good deed to other nonhuman animals as well. Feed the street dogs and cows. It is the least you can do to these beings whom we have robbed of their homes.
5. Do a cross stitch on Lord Krishna.
Cross-stitching is one activity that is not only rewarding but also makes a perfect wall decor. I remember doing a crosstitch of an angel. It took me two months to finish because of its size, but when I was done with it, the feeling of accomplishment is beyond elation. So go on, find a pattern on Krishna, bring home all the needed materials and start cross-stitching. Trust me, you will love the decision.
6. Draw the world of Krishna and make it a puzzle.
On a big piece of thick cardboard, draw Krishna in his world. An example of this world is where Krisha is sitting by a river in the foothills of the Himalayas playing a musical instrument; birds flying in the sky; animals grazing in the meadow. Have children colour it. When colouring is done, take a cutting blade and cut the board the way a puzzle would look like. Now, spend a few hours with your kids putting the pieces back together. You have just created a beautiful Krishna Janmashtami Puzzle that can be played regardless of whether it's Krishna's birthday or not.
7. Watch the newest version of Mahabharata on Star Plus.
I admit I haven't read the book and have only watched eight episodes of the drama, but the series is interesting and engaging. Every character's individual pain, suffering and struggle are depicted really well. The acting is good. Lord Krishna's wisdom, reasons and philosophies are worth contemplating. And the way these words of wisdom are shared doesn't feel forced. Instead, they make us think and analyse, perhaps with the intent to evaluate our own actions and deeds.
So go ahead. Binge-watch on Star Plus and make Mahabharata top the list.
8. Donate Mahabharata children's colouring books to an orphanage.
The House of Orphans needs help all the time, and one of the better ways to extend this help is by donating books. Mahabharata books do not only acquaint children with the life of Krishna but they also make reading interesting.
9. Paint earthen pots and barter them for goods.
Painting is an enjoyable activity. It stimulates the artistic part of a child that helps in brain development. It also teaches kids creativity, paving a way for their imagination to manifest at an early age. When done, display these pots outside your home/gate for a barter. Pots for a pack of other items such as lentils or rice then donate these goods to the needy and homeless.
~BPM Akanksha's work, a sample design idea for your pots~
While others are busy doing the things they want to accomplish today, involve yourself in one or more activities listed here and be fruitful.
Happy Janmashtami, everyone!