As Krishna Janmashtami approaches, devotees find themselves in a quandary over the date of this revered celebration, with conflicting calendars suggesting September 6th or 7th. Amidst this uncertainty, it’s crucial to discern the accurate day for fasting and observance, while also unraveling the symbolism behind the cucumber tradition.
Krishna Janmashtami’s Correct Date
According to astrologers, Krishna Janmashtami in Mathura is traditionally observed at midnight on the Ashtami of the Krishna Paksha of the month of Bhadrapada. This year, the auspicious date is unequivocally September 6th, 2023, falling on a Wednesday. The scriptures prescribe a smart and Vaishnava manner of celebrating Janmashtami, thus necessitating clarity on the fasting day.
Fasting at the Right Hour
This year, the Ashtami Tithi for Janmashtami extends into the midnight hour and extends into other days as well. Furthermore, the presence of Rohini Nakshatra on the first day of Bhadrapada Krishna Ashtami indicates that Janmashtami should be observed on September 6th. The Bhadrapada Krishna Ashtami timeframe is from 03:37 PM on September 6th to 04:14 PM on September 7th, while Rohini Nakshatra occurs from 09:20 AM on September 6th to 10:25 AM on September 7th. Consequently, Janmashtami is aptly celebrated on September 6th, with the ideal Muhurta for Janmashtami Puja from 11:57 PM to 12:42 AM, and the Paran time for breaking the fast at 06:02 AM on September 7th.
The Significance of Cucumber Tradition
Krishna Janmashtami’s celebrations are incomplete without the symbolic act of cutting cucumbers. This tradition represents the separation of Lord Krishna from Mother Devaki. Just as the umbilical cord of newborns is severed, signifying their detachment from the womb, the cutting of the cucumber stalk signifies the birth of Lord Krishna at midnight.
Astrologer Pandit Kalki Ram from Ayodhya affirms that Krishna Janmashtami will fall on September 7th this year. Integral to the celebration is the tradition of cutting cucumbers, as it is believed that Lord Krishna holds a special fondness for cucumbers. This cherished custom adds depth and meaning to the festivities.