Why is Sri Krishna Jayanti celebrated on two different days?

Sri Krishna Jayanti or Sri Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated on two different days in year. In simple words, Lord Krishna has two birthdays. In 2014, Sri Krishna Jayanti or Sri Krishna Janmashtami is on August 17 and August 18. The birthday of Sri Krishna on August 18 is also referred occasionally as Vaishnava Sri Krishna Jayanti. Many Hindu sects in South, West and East India will be celebrating Sri Krishna Jayanti on August 17. Most of North on August 18.

Note - in 2014, Sri Krishna Jayanti will be observed on September 15 in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

According to traditional Hindu astrology, Lord Krishna was born when the moon entered the house of Vrishabha (Taurus) at the Rohini Nakshatram (star) on the eight day (Ashtami) of the second fortnight of the month of Sravana (this corresponds to the month of Bhadrapada Krishnapaksha in North India). All these conditions have to match to celebrate Sri Krishna Jayanti but most of the time these conditions never match in the calendars of various Hindu sects.

So the different sections in Hinduism have adopted their own standards for celebrating the birthday of Lord Krishna. For some sect, it is the ‘ashtami’ day that is important. For some sect, it is the star ‘rohini.’ To make it more complex there is the lunar and solar calendar issue.


The two different dates is because importance is given to Tithi – Krishna Paksha Ashtami Tithi in certain regions. Like in Maharashtra, Bengal and by some communities in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

In North India, the date that has Krishna Paksha Ashtami and Moon sign Vrishabha (Taurus) is given importance.


In Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the date that has Krishna Paksha Ashtami and Rohini Nakshatram is given importance but this date has to be in Tamil Aavani Month and Malayalam Chingam Month.

Celebrating Sri Krishna Jayanti on two different days is more common in South India. In North India, to a greater extent there is uniformity.

(Confused!!! Krishna will be smiling at his birthday celebrations, all these calendars and confusion created by it. Krishna in Bhagavad Gita asks to rise above time, birth and death.)

Don’t mistake that this two different day celebrations are the result of difference of opinion among different sects in Hinduism. We feel a glitch because we think in terms of Hinduism, Hindu and India but not in terms of ‘Sanatana Dharma.’

The term ‘Hindu’ was first uttered two thousand years ago and origin of Sri Krishna Jayanti celebrations can traced back to thousands of years before that utterance. There were numerous regional traditions recognizing Sanatana Dharma in Bharath (India) before the coinage of the term ‘Hindu.’ These regional traditions had their own calendars and methods of celebrations.

The modern concept of Hinduism gained popularity with the arrival of European powers to India but the Vedic tradition is inherently diverse and it recognizes the different ways of celebrations.

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