In India, Janamashtmi, or the birth of Lord Krishna is a very popular and auspicious festival.
Festivities begin before dawn and extend all day until midnight, the moment of Lord Krishna’s appearance.
Events include singing the Lord’s name (Kirtan) and prayer. Devotees cook a feast of a large number of dishes, while others perform drama and dance. Some clothe and decorate the deity of Krishna, and string enormous flower garlands and other decorations for the temple. Incense burns, scriptures are read, and some observe fast all day.
The deities are also bathed with a variety of auspicious oils and liquids in a ceremony called abhisheka, which is performed with great pomp. Finally, at midnight, priests pull apart the curtains to reveal the freshly dressed deity of Krishna on a creatively festooned and colored altar. The excitement builds, and a rousing kirtan ensues.