Shri Krishna Janmashtami is the birthday of Lord Krishna, who is the eighth Divine Incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It falls on the 8th day of the dark half(Krishna Paksh Ashtami) of the month of Bhadrapada (August-September). Krishna Janmashtami is one of the greatest of all Hindu festivals. Lord Krishna was born at midnight. People keep a twenty-four hour fast is on this day, which is broken at midnight.
Temples are well decorated for this occasion. Kirtans & bhajans are sung, bells are rung, the conch is blown, and Sanskrit hymns (Mantras) are recited in praise of Lord Shri Krishna. At Mathura, which is the birthplace of Lord Krishna, special spiritual gatherings are organised at this time. Pilgrims from all over India attend these festive gatherings. The Lord Krishna appeared when the moon entered the house of Vrishabha at the constellation of the star Rohini (Nakshtra), on Wednesday, the 8th day of the second fortnight of the month of Sravana, which corresponds to the month of Bhadrapada Krishnapaksha according to the Barhaspatyamana. As in present year 2011, the date of Sri Krishna Jayanti in North India is August 22. In some parts of South India and in some parts of western India it is on August 21. It is observed as Dahi Handi in Maharashtra, the formation of the huge human pyramids to break the pot hung high up. The festival is also known as Gokulashtami and Krishnashtami.