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.

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Janamashtmi Chappan Bhog

8 thoughts on “Janamashtmi Chappan Bhog”

  1. I haven't heard about this tradition before, so a big thank you for explaining everything in detail. In South, we usually offer the Lord's favourite foods but definitely not 56 different kinds. Baby sized footprints are usually drawn using white Rangoon from doorstep to the Pooja area to signify Lord Krishna(as a baby) walking up to get the Prasad.

  2. Wow, learnt something new today Vaishali. Thanks for sharing the story about Chappan bhog. I'm awestruck by all the food that is offered to God. So much must be going into the planning and making all these items. Kudos to you to keep continuing with the tradition.

  3. I have heard about the Chappan bhog and always wondered whether really in this age and time, people have the patience to cook that number of dishes for bhog. Of course I had assumed that all the dishes need to be cooked and that too at home. That would make it a tedious task, I know.:)
    Your post gave a true glimpse of what goes in the Chappan bhog.

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