When Does Krishna Janmashtami Begin?

Find the Date for This Hindu Festival in This and Other Years

A large crowd
A large crowd celebrates Janmashtami in Mumbai, India. Hans Neleman / Getty Images

Krishna Janmashtami, usually called Janmashtami, is a holiday in the Hindu calendar that celebrates the birthday of Krishna, the god of love and compassion. It celebrated widely in India and it is observed on different dates each year.

What Is Krishna Janmashtami?

Krishna Janmashtami is one of the biggest festivals in the Hindu world, paying homage to the birth of Krishna, who is one of the faith's most popular deities.

It takes place over a 48-hour period in late summer.

How Is It Celebrated?

On the first day of the event, called Krishan Ashtami, Hindus rise before dawn to engage in song and prayer in Krishna's honor. Some Hindus also celebrate with dances and dramatic rituals that tell the story of Krishna's birth and life, and many of them will fast in his honor.

Vigils are held until midnight, when it is believed that the deity was born. Sometimes, Hindu faithful will also bathe and dress statues of the baby Krishna to commemorate his birth. On the second day, called Janam Ashtami, Hindus will break their fast of the previous day with elaborate meals that often contain milk or cheese curds, said to be two of Krishna's favorite foods.

When Is It Observed?

Like other Hindu holy days and celebrations, Janmashtami's date is determined by the lunisolar cycle, rather than the Gregorian calendar used in the West.

The holiday occurs on the eighth day of the Hindu month of Bhadra or Bhadrapada, which typically falls between August and September. Bhadrapada is the sixth month in the 12-month Hindu calendar. Based on the lunisolar cycle, each month begins on the day of the full moon. 

When Will Krishna Janmashtami Take Place?

Here are the dates for Krishna Janmashtami for the years 2017 to 2030: 

  • 2017: Tuesday, August 15
  • 2018: Monday, September 3
  • 2019: Friday, August 23
  • 2020: Wednesday, August 12
  • 2021: Sunday, August 29
  • 2022: Thursday, August 18
  • 2023: Wednesday, September 6
  • 2024: Monday, August 26
  • 2025: Friday, August 15
  • 2026: Thursday, September 3
  • 2027: Wednesday, August 25
  • 2028: Saturday, August 12
  • 2029: Friday, August 31
  • 2030: Wednesday, August 21

When Did It Occur In Past Years?

  • 2016: Tuesday, August 15
  • 2015: Friday, September 4
  • 2014: Saturday, August 16
  • 2013: Wednesday, August 28
  • 2012: Thursday, August 9
  • 2011: Sunday, August 21
  • 2010: Wednesday, September 1
  • 2009: Thursday, August 13
  • 2008: Saturday, August 23
  • 2007: Monday, September 3