Krishna Janmashtami

The thing I love about India…ok, ONE of the things I love about India is that there are SO MANY FESTIVALS!  A few days ago was Krishna Janmashtami, the Hindu celebration of Lord Krishna’s birthday.  You can read more about the festival here (Wikipedia!), but basically what happened in the neighborhood across the street from Sangam was this…

Hanging from a wire tied between two trees is a red clay pot filled with a white yogurt/curd-like substance.  The wire and the pot are decorated with orange and yellow flowers, as are the houses and businesses we passed to get to this place.  It’s nighttime, close to 10 o’clock, but the people gathered are wide awake, and even if they are not, there is a man with a hose ready to spray any gloomy faces.  I hear drums, the kind that I expect to turn into the MSU fight song, but of course they don’t.  These are the same drummers we heard outside Sangam earlier in the week practicing, so you know this is a big deal.

Surrounding the area directly under the pot is a group of boys and young men.  Around them a few meters back are the young girls, and us, and then behind us the women, all dressed in amazingly beautiful saris.   The idea is to make a human pyramid of people, tall enough to reach the pot.  The smallest boy will be on the top, and will break the pot and pour the liquid all over the boys below, and there will be much celebration.

But the thing that I liked most about it was that when the boys failed and their pyramid fell, instead of being sad or getting frustrated or blaming the bottom row, the music just got louder and the dancing got crazier and the man with the hose sprayed so much that I felt like I was in the obligitory bollywood rain dancing scene.  The little girls we were dancing with loved watching the boys, and watching us dancing and teaching us how to do it too.

This was a great night.  We had so much fun, and, as always, felt so welcomed by all the people we met, not like we were strangers gawking at strange traditions, but like we were guests who deserved the best treatment.

Up next will be a post (or 2) about my trip to Mumbai, and I just booked my tickets to Agra, so that will be coming up soon as well!  As always comment with any questions, comments or suggestions you have, subscribe if you haven’t already, and share with anyone you think would like it!  Thanks for reading!

-Ana

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