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India is a land of festivals. Every month, people all across the country celebrate some auspicious day or another. Most of these festivals are characterized by rituals that involve prayer sessions to please revered deities. The monsoon season brings with it a respite from the summer heat and also a host of interesting festivals celebrated all across India. The Hindu calendar, in particular, is full of auspicious days spread across this season August 2017 is a special month with several festivals like Krishna Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi falling in this month. And as we come towards the close of the month, another significant Hindu festival is upon us. It is the day that commemorates the birth of revered Hindu Goddess Radha. For the uninitiated, Radha is Lord Krishnas consort and holds great significance in Hindu mythology. She is also believed to be an avatar of Goddess Lakshmi. The birth of Radha is therefore an important event in the Hindu calendar. The festival of Radha Ashtami is also known as Radhashtami or Radha Jayanti. Like most other festivals, Radha Ashtami too is characterized by a puja or prayer session and a fast called Mahalakshi Vrat. Radha Ashtami falls on the 8th day of the Shukla Paksha during the Bhadrapada month of the Hindu calendar. Radha Ashtami 2017 falls on August 29. Also Read - Radha Ashtami 2017: Top 6 Fasting Tips to Stay Healthy on this Festival
On the day of Radha Ashtami, devotees observe fasts and get together for prayer and chanting sessions in temples. It is believed that the fast held on Krishna Janmashtami, in conjunction with this Radha Ashtami fast, makes a devotee eligible for blessings of the revered deities. Some even believe that the Krishna Janmashtami fast is rendered moot if no fast is held on Radha Janmashtami. On the other hand, successful completion of the fast means that you are bound to get blessings of wealth, prosperity and good health. The auspicious Radha Ashtami puja is held during Madhyahna Kala which is noon time according to Hindu division of the day. This time is considered apt to worship Radha. In terms of the tithi timings, Radha Ashtami begins on August 29 at 00:36 and ends on August 30 at 02:52. This means over 24 hours of devotion and festivities for Hindu devotees. CHECK OUT Biggest Ganesh Pandals in Mumbai You Cannot Miss Also Read - Dahi Handi 2017 Celebration In Maharashtra: Best Places to Witness Dahi Handi in Mumbai and Pune
While the Radha Ashtami puja and fasting are the main parts of Radha Ashtami celebrations, other festivities in some parts of India include singing songs, performing folk dances depicting stories of Radha and Krishna and preparing local delicacies and sweets to break the fast. Barsana, a village near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, is believed to be the birthplace of Radha. Radha Ashtami celebrations in Barsana, and the nearby holy destinations Mathura and Vrindavan which are associated with Lord Krishna, are quite grand. ISKCON temples in north India observe the festival of Radha Ashtami with great devotion and cheer.