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September 3, 2015

Krishna Janmashtami | Krishna Jayanthi Celebration At Home - Pooja Procedures

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Krishna janmashtami celebration at home

Yesterday I got a request from a reader to make a post on Krishna Janmashtami celebration / Gokulashtami celebration at home. So I have discussed how to celebrate Krishna Jayanthi/Gokulashtami/Krishna Janmashtami at home by Indians especially South Indians in a very simple way. I have also shared a video on how to draw Krishna feet using rice flour paste. Pooja procedures I have given here is based on my family's tradition. It may vary from place to place. So take this as a reference and get the guidance from your family elders.

As you all know,  Krishna Jayanthi is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna. It’s a most important and sacred day for Hindus. People pray to Lord Krishna on this day and seek his blessings for a happy and good life.Krishna Janmashtami is observed on Ashtami – the eighth day of Krishna Paksha month/Shravana month i.e between mid August & early September. This year 2023, it falls on September 6th Wednesday evening. It is celebrated all over India. 

In Tamil nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and North Indian temples, Gokulashtami is celebrated in a grand manner. Festivities begin before dawn and extend all day until midnight, the exact moment of the anniversary of Krishna’s appearance. Many people observe fasting on this day till midnight and worship Lord Krishna. After Janmashtami pooja, they break their fasing by eating sweets and prasad offered to God. As a fasting rules, people consume only fruits, milk and drink lots of water. In my house, we don't have the practice of fasting on this day.

At home, we do a simple pooja in the evening i.e after 6 pm. On those days, my MIL used to do the pooja around 11 pm at night. So its better to do the pooja anytime after 6 pm till midnight. Midnight is the exact time that Krishna appeared on this planet, so it is the most auspicious and spiritually inspiring time to perform pooja.

Temples prepare at least one hundred and eight different food dishes on Janmashtami. At home, Tamil people do the pooja by offering flowers, neivedyam recipes like seedai , murukku, laddu, appam, payasam/Kheer etc and  performing Mangala aarti to Lord Krishna Idol or photo. If you are not able to prepare all these dishes,don’t worry - Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, “If you offer me with love a leaf, flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.” So offer whatever you can - it’s just your love and devotion that matters.

Please click here for the full collection of Krishna Janmashtami recipes of my blog ! I have also shared a No cook Aval panchamirtham recipe with fruits to make a simple neivedyam.

Visit my in-laws blog for kolam ideas.

Krishna jayanthi recipes


Please click here for the full collection of Krishna Janmashtami recipes of my blog.

Gokulashtami recipes

  • Krishna Idol or photo frame
  • Flowers/Garland for decoration
  • Fruits like apple, pomegranate,Orange,banana, guava etc
  • One coconut for neivedyam
  • Betel leaves and nuts (Vetrilai paaku)
  • Oil and ghee to light the lamp
  • Rice flour and colors for drawing  Rangoli and Krishna feet.
To offer in front of GOD
  • A small cup of milk, curd, butter, Poha/Aval mixed with jaggery or sugar.
These offerings are must and should even if you don’t prepare sweets and snacks.

Ingredients for making neivedyam recipes
  • Raw rice and Rice flour ( for making seedai , murukku and paal payasam )
  • Sesame seeds or cumin seeds
  • Coconut
  • Jaggery ( For vella seedai and appam)
  • Banana ( for appam)
  • Sugar ( for Milk payasam)
  • Milk ( for payasam/Kheer)
  • Urad dal and Roasted gram dal ( Pottukadalai ) ( For making seedai, murukku)
  • Butter/Ghee for snacks
  • Cooking oil ( to deep fry)
  • Do the shopping two days before the festival and finish making the deep fried neivedyam recipes like vella seedai , Uppu seedai , Kai murukku etc on the previous day of festival. Store them in an air tight box after everything cools down completely else they may turn soggy. DO NOT TASTE IT UNTIL YOU FINISH POOJA.
  • Wash the lamps and other pooja vessels on the previous day night and keep the turmeric, kumkum dots.Put the threads and oil the lamp. Suppose if  you don’t have enough time, you can do this job the next day morning or afternoon as we are going to do the pooja only in the evening after 6 pm. So its your choice.
On Gokulashtami afternoon, mix the ingredients for sweet appam and make payasam in cooker. Cook the appam around 5.30 pm. Around 4 pm in the evening, sweep the house and entrance. Draw Rangoli in the entrance and in front of the Pooja room. Draw the krishna feet from entrance till pooja room. Decorate the krishna idol by keeping flowers and garland. Make him ready for celebration :)


In many houses in South India, people draw footsteps of Lord Krishna from the entrance of the house to the Puja room. These footsteps are drawn with rice flour paste and drawing these footsteps is a sign of welcoming Lord Krishna to home. Women draw patterns of tiny footsteps like those of infant Krishna. I have given a video below on how to draw krishna feet using rice flour. Please watch it to draw easily.

how to draw krishna feet

How to draw Krishna Feet - Video

Take a broad plate such that your hands should fit in. Dilute the rice flour adding enough water and make the paste. Do not make it too thick or too thin. Its consistency should be like dosa batter. Now fold your hands as if you are punching someone😉. Dip your side of the hand in the rice paste. It will be coated with the paste. Now make the impression on the floor. Keep 5 dots for fingers. Draw the right leg first. Repeat the same procedure using your left hand for drawing left leg. Do this alternatively. Draw both the legs together near the entrance and pooja room. 

Refer the stepwise pictures for clear understanding. For drawing legs of baby Krishna, fold your hands tightly and make the impressions as shown in pics. If you want to draw slightly bigger legs, watch this video. Alternatively, you can ask your kids to make impressions on the floor. They would enjoy doing this and help you out .


After you finish the decoration and neivedyam preparations i.e after 6 pm, place the decorated Krishna on a plank/Peeta. Offer all the neivedyam recipes, fruits, curd, milk, butter in front of the God. Light the lamp and do the pooja, perform Mangala harathi. You can sing Krishna songs or read Bhagavad Gita/Sri Krishna Ashtakam OR simply chant “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya “means “Om, I bow to Lord Vasudeva or Lord Krishna’'in front of the GOD.

To perform a simple pooja without any special neivedyam recipes, just garland the Krishna idol, garland it. Light the lamp, Place a small cup of milk, curd, butter, Poha/Aval/rice flakes mixed with jaggery or sugar. Do the pooja and mangala harathi. Please check the picture below for reference.

Krishna jayanthi celebration at home

The next morning, do the pooja with a simple neivedyam like dry grapes or candy (kalkandu). Remove the idol at a good time of the day ( Avoid Rahu kalam and Yama kandam ).

DISCLAIMER : The details I have shared here is purely our family’s method of celebration. It may vary from place to place based on your traditions. So please take this as a reference, consult the elders of your family for more guidance.

Thanks for visiting this page. Wish you all a very happy Gokulashtami :)

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Journeymart said...

Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna and this is the only city where swings decorated with fresh flowers and bells are hung in courtyards of temple and houses to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna.

Sindhujabalaji said...

Thanx for explainning everything in detailed manner,this year i planned to elaborate way,and ur guidance help me to do things in organised way,happy gokulashatmi sister...

Chitra said...

Thanks Sindhuja . Happy Gokulashtami :) said...

Well presented..Happy Janmashtami..

Unknown said...

Chitra after going vegan we stopped using milk because in those times Krishna loved cows
But in the modern age cows are mistreated so we use soy milk, soy yogurt, agave
Vegan butter and bananas.

Anonymous said...

This blog is more informative. Lord Krishna was born to eradicate Adharma. On this auspicious day we celebrate  Krishna Jayanthi 2016 Special  . Worship Lord Krishna on krishna jayanthi.

Ravi Rao said...

This is really interesting, particularly the way you described the sequence of the Gokulashtami day,took me to my boyhood days. Now though the spirit is live, there are practical inabilities as well as the ignorant attitude of the wards lessen the process but I do it with devotion with my wife who is a Christian by birth but always extends her best cooperation in each of the festivals. Though not for my bakthi but for her devotion the Lord will certainly bless my family.

Chitra said...

Thank you sir. Glad to know your wife's interest towards our festival :)

lakshmi said...

Krishna Jayanthi or Janmashtami is the yearly festival of the introduction of the Hindu God Krishna, which is the eighth symbol of ruler Vishnu. The celebration is praised on the eighth day i.e. on Ashtami of the Krishna Paksha of the time of Bhadrapada in the Hindu schedule.On this special workship lord krishna to maintain peace and harmony.Read More

Unknown said...

Hai Mam thank u

Chitra said...

You are welcome :)

Unknown said...

Very nice.

Unknown said...

Hii mam can I get this procedure in Tamil.pdf

Unknown said...

Hii mam can I get this procedure in Tamil.

Chitra said...

Hi, sorry. Please translate in Google