BM # 70
Week 1, Day 1
Theme : Thalis
Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm in India in the month of July or August. According to the Hindu calendar this religious festival is celebrated on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksh or the 8th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadon. Krishna Janmashtami is also known as Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti.
I remember as a young girl I would fast all day along with my grandmother and break the fast after midnight. I did not know the significance, it was the goodies which was the Prasad that attracted. The complete day we would decorate a room with colored saw dust and mini toys depicting Lord Krishna’s life. Those times were different and we never thought of capturing the memories through a digital lens !
As you grow you learn and understand the significance of these festivals . The Lord is offered a Chappn Bhog .The word ‘Chappan means 56, and ‘Bhog’ means food. Wondering why there are specifically 56 items? The story goes that to protect his village and the people from the wrath of The God of Rain (Lord Indra), Lord Krishna had lifted the Govardhan Parvat and placed it at the tip of his little finger, under which everyone had taken refuge. He stood still for seven whole days continuously, until Lord Indra realized his mistake. Lord Krishna would usually eat eight food items every day, but he didn’t consume any food during these seven days. So at the end of the seventh day, everyone made Lord Krishna a total of 56 dishes (eight multiplied by seven), out of gratitude. The food is first offered to the Lord and then distributed among all the devotees and priests.
My daughter in law used to make this Chappan Bhog in her parental house and when she came here it was only natural to follow it. The Lord is offered sweets, namkeens, home cooked food, drinks, basically all his favorite things.
We divided the bhog into four sections. The first one was fruits and sharbat, the second had dry fruits and chocolates, the third had Burfis , ladoos and sweets (all store bought) and last platter had a home cooked meal.
Coming to the home cooked meal, the menu was as follows and fortunately all the recipes have been posted earlier.
Fruits and sherbet
Dry Fruits and Chocolates
Burfis, Ladoos and Mithai
the Badaam Halwa and Paan too are included in this platter
One can definitely vary the Bhog, I know of people who people offer 16 kinds of namkeen, 20 kinds of sweets and 20 kinds of dry fruits. Makkan , Mishri and Malai are also very popularly added to the bhog. Last but not the least a betel leaf paan too is offered to the lord.