This is the celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna. It is celebrated on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in August-September. Temples and homes are beautifully decorated and lit. Notable are the cribs and other decorations depicting stories of Lord Krishna’s childhood.
In the evening bhajans (devotional songs) are sung which end at midnight, the auspicious moment when Lord Krishna was born. Krishna Janmastami is a festival that is held in the typical pattern of preparation, purification, realisation and then celebration. On the day of the festival, people will fast and spend the day focused on Krishna, meditating and chanting the Hare Krishna mantra and other prayers or songs devoted to Lord Krishna.
Often times, there will also be plays and enactments of the birth and pastimes of the Lord. Thus, offering their obeisances, focusing their minds on Lord Krishna. Then at the stroke of midnight Lord Krishna is born, which is celebrated by a midnight arati ceremony. Flowers are showered on the Deity of Lord Krishna, or the Deities are dressed in new outfits or decorated with numerous flowers.
In this way, after a full day of purification, we realise our own connection with the Lord, who then manifests as the Supreme worshipable object of our purified consciousness. Thus, this climax at night represents our overcoming the darkness of ignorance and reaching the state of purified spiritual knowledge and perception. Therein we overcome the influence of the mind and senses and enter the state of steady awareness wherein there is full spiritual awakening. If one can follow this process, then he or she can experience the real meaning of Krishna Janmastami. Then prasad (sacred offered food) is distributed to everyone.