Sri Krishna the eighth Avatar of Lord Vishnu took birth as an eighth child of Devaki and Vasudeva on this day of Ashtami i.e., eighth day of the Krishna Paksha in the month of Sravana in Rohini Nakshatra, to extinct Asuras from the world. The day is celebrated as Krishnashtami in the South, as Janmasthami in the Northern parts of India. This also is called Gokulashtami.
It is a Gazetted holiday as declared by the Government of India on which day the Government offices, schools, colleges and some of the business houses close so that the festival can be celebrated. It was observed last year on 10th August and will be observed on17th August in 2014.
The Avatar Srikrishna was an embodiment of a fully matured person with wisdom and down to earth practical thinking and at the same time highly intellectual. The Bhagwad Gita he gave to the mankind through his preachings to Arjun is a great boon to the mankind which is adored by many worldwide and which is a sacred book of Hindus. He led a great war Kurukshetra which was a war between good and evil in which Sri Krishna took side of the Pandavas representing good to defeat Kauravas representing bad.
In spite of all the above, today only the childhood plays of Srikrishna are remembered like flirting with Yadava girls and stealing butter from their houses and other mischievous acts limited to that age. The festival is observed with grand shows in Mathura and Brindavan the place of his birth and place where he was brought up.
Janmasthami is also observed in Nepal and other Countries where Hindus are living. It is a National holiday in Bangladesh.