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What COVID made us miss in Krishna Janmashtami of 2020

A boy wearing a face mask breaks an earthen pot (Dahi Handi) on the occasion of Krishna Janmashtami festival, in Mumbai, on Wednesday, August 12, 2020.

The celebration of major festivals is changing due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Every year various temples throughout the country witness lakhs of worshippers who seek blessings of Lord Krishna on the auspicious day. However, this year temples have decided to follow social-distancing guidelines. Most people joined the celebrations virtually this year as the ISKCON temple in Vrindavan live telecasted the puja rituals.

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No Human Pyramids and Dahi Handi

Adhering to the social distancing guidelines, there were no human pyramids on Wednesday which usually attracts thousands on the streets. Instead, heath and social welfare drives like blood donation camps were carried out. Previously, Dahi Handi festivals were carried out with great regards in Maharashtra. Many groups used to participate in the competitions where organizers announced cash rewards to the winning team. This year, the activity was done while conducting social distancing and wearing masks in a symbolic manner.

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Celebrations in Vrindavan

No public events and performances were held in the city of Vrindavan due to the pandemic. Although, devotees gathered outside the temple and greeted each other. The Iskcon temple in Vrindavan held a virtual event to maintain the spirit of the festival. Saurabh Trivikram, Director, communications, Iskcon Vrindavan, said prior to the festival:

“We will be celebrating Janmashtami virtually this year. Our programme will mainly start at 10 p.m with ‘Abhishek’, throughout the day we will be virtually available on zoom as well, so if anyone wants to join that, they can contact us and we will be providing the links. There will be all day long bhajans and kirtans in the temple hall only. This year due to the pandemic,no performances will be happening. There will be no dance festival this year.”

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I love to read about unsettling and dark things/concepts/rituals that people usually like to ignore and I’m extremely fond of literature and movies.
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