Janmashtami is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of the god Krishna on the eighth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada (August–September). The number eight has another significance in the Krishna legend in that he is the eighth child of his mother Devaki.
Immediately after his birth, his father Vasudeva Anakadundubhi took Krishna across the Yamuna river to save him from uncle King Kansa and gave him to his foster parents in Gokul, Nanda and Yashoda. Legend goes that Kansa’s sister Devaki’s eighth son was prophesied to kill the cruel king. So Kansa locked Devaki and Vasudeva in the prison and started killing their sons one by one until Krishna was born.
On Janmashtami, therefore, idols of infant Krishna are washed, clothed and placed in a cradle. The devotees then break their fast and share foods and sweets.