Gokulashtami marks the celebration of the birth of Bhagavan
Sri Krishna. Lord Sri Krishna was born on the 'Rohini'
nakshatram (star) on Ashtami day.This festival is also
known as Sri Krishna Jayanthi and Janmashtami. The actual day
of celebration can be on two different days as the star 'Rohini'
and Ashtami may not be on the same day. This occurs between
August and September on the Christian calendar.
Krishna Jayanthi is also called as Janma Ashtami day, Gokula
Ashtami and Sri Jayanthi. The birthday of Krishna, who was
born to King Vasudeva and Devaki Devi is celebrated as a
festival on the eighth
of the dark fortnight in the month of Sravana, which
corresponds to the English month of August-September.
Therefore Gokuashtami means Gokul - Krishna and Ashtami -
Sri Krishna is Lord Vishnu's eighth avatar (incarnation) on
earth. He is considered to be the Lord's most glorious
incarnations. Even saying and remembering His name brings
joy because Sri Krishna himself was a manifestation of joy
at all levels and in all walks of life. No other God in the
Hindu pantheon, or for that matter in any other religion, is
associated with so many romantic tales and so fully
radiating with all the divine attributes as Sri Krishna.
Since Sri Krishna lived in luxury throughout his life, Sri
Krishna Jayanti is celebrated with pomp and splendor. Plenty
of sweets are made. Among these are laddus (yellu oonde),
chakli, cheedai, payasam (kheer), and so on. In addition,
plenty of milk products especially butter, which was Sri
Krishna's favorite childhood food, are given in offerings. A
wide variety of fruits are also offered. The most common
sweets made laddus and payasam.