This festival is celebrated all over India in the Hindu month of Shravan (August/September) on the 'Ashtami' or the eighth day of Krishna Paksh or dark fortnight. Janmashtami is also known as Gokulashtami, Srijayanti and Krishnasthami. The day is celebrated with great zeal and devotion. The Lord Krishna devotees observe fast for the entire day and night, worshipping him and stay vigil throughout the night listening to his tales, reciting hymns and singing devotional songs from the Gita.
The birthplace of Krishna, Mathura and Vrindavan celebrate this occasion with great enthusiasm and splendor. Religious plays or Raslilas are performed to recreate events from the life of Lord Krishna and to honor his love for Radha. Devotees gather to these pious places to celebrate Janmashtami. On this auspicious day, homes and temples are decorated and illuminated beautifully. Singing and dancing is marked as the celebration of this festive all over northern India. At midnight, the figurine of infant Krishna is bathed and laid in a cradle, which is rocked, amidst the ringing of bells. In the state of Maharashtra, people enact the Krishna's childhood attempts to steal butter and curd from earthen pots which were beyond his reach. A similar earthen pot is suspended high above the ground and groups of people form human pyramids and try to reach the pot and break it. The town of Dwarka in Gujarat which is Krishna's own land witnesses hordes of visitors gathering here for celebrations.