The Hindu Mandir of Lake County, Grayslake, IL celebrated Shri Krishna Janamashtami on August 15 with a variety of programs to honor the birth of Krishna, one of the revered incarnations of lord Vishnu. The event was attended by thousands of devotees during the day and hundreds of them stayed until after midnight.
The temple was decked up all around for the festivities with decorations depicting various aspects of Krishna andthe ceiling was decorated with hanging earthen pots. All the deities were dressed up in new clothes and ornaments. One of the main attractions enjoyed by kids and adults alike was the depiction of ‘raas leela’ showing lord Krishna dancing with ‘gopis’ with musicians and artists. The life of lord Krishna was displayed with the use of posters and cut-outs. In the center of the shrine stood acolorfully decorated swing where baby Krishna was seated after his birth at midnight.
The festivities kicked off with ‘shobha yatra’, a procession that went around the temple campus with about twenty kids who were dressed as Krishna and Radha. The program included another popular event in which kids competed to break a hanging pot to grab candies. This event signifies young Krishna and his friends reaching out to pots of yogurt or butter that were kept out of their reach. Local singing groups and artists sang devotional songs, making it a festive event.
The temple priest, Anil Joshi while addressing the audience, praised the ideals of lord Krishna and highlighted the coincidence of the festival falling on India’s independence day, and touched upon the freedom of devotion and practice of religion. Baby Krishna was unveiled by the priests at midnight amidst chants and devotional songs. The idol of baby Krishna was decked up and seated in the cradle. A couple of infants were carried into the shrine by adults dressed up as Vasudeva, Krishna’s father and devotees welcomed baby Krishna with chants. At the conclusion, devotees got the opportunity to rock the cradle of lord Krishna.