A festival dedicated to Lord Krishna, Gopashtami, or Gopa Ashtami, is observed on the eighth day during waxing phase of the moon (Shukla Paksha) in Kartik month (October – November). Gopashtami 2014 date is October 31. Go puja, or worship of Cows, is performed on the day. The general belief is that Shri Krishna as a child started tending cows from this day.
Legend has it that Shri Krishna was allowed to tend cows for the first time on this day by his foster father Nanda. Till then Lord Krishna was only looking after the calves.
A popular legend about Gopashtami suggests that Radha also wanted to herd cows but was not allowed to do. So she dressed up like a boy and joined Shri Krishna and other gopas. This event is reenacted in many regions on the day.
Devotees bathe and clean the cows and the cowshed (Goshala). They are given special food and are worshipped on the day.
Gopashtami is a major event in Krishna temples and in places associated with Krishna like Vrindavan,
and Nathdwara. Mathura
In Nathdwara, cow herders bring hundreds of cows and their calves to the temples and the cows are beautifully decorated for the occasion.
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