Radhashtami' is a Hindu holy day commemorating the birth anniversary of Radha the life energy of Vishnu. On this day she emerged from a lotus flower as the lover-consort of the lord Krishna the eighth avatar of lord Vishnu. It is celebrated mainly by devotees of Krishna.
Traditionally, followers of Gaudiya Vaishnavism will follow a half-day fast on this day. Like Ekadashi, some devotees observe this fast for full day & some even without water. The holiday is an important holiday for followers of the Nimbarka sampradaya. On this day, devotees of Krishna ask Radha for her favour, in turn acquire Krishna's grace.
Radhashtami is ceremoniously celebrated in the Brij area. On Radhastami, Radha Krishna icons are traditionally dressed entirely in flowers. Additionally, Radhashtami is the only day on which devotees may receive darshan of Radha's feet. On all other days, they remain covered.
Devotees will fast until noon and sing devotional songs in praise of the divine couple and their pastimes. Then a feast is served, most often including the Radha Red — a spicy, plum chutney.
Radhaashtami is particularly important for the holy pilgrimage to Manimahesh Lake, called 'Manimahesh Yatra', which is sponsored by the Government of Himachal Pradesh. It is preceded by the "holy chhari", (holy stick carried by the pilgrims on their shoulders). The pilgrims barefooted, singing and dancing to the hymns of God Shiva, undertake this trek of 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) from the nearest road point of Hadsar, to the Manimahesh Lake.
- "Srila Prabhupada's Presentation of Srimati Radharani - First Radhastami celebration in ISKCON". www.sdgonline.org. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
- "Radhastami". www.krishna.com. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
- "Celebration of Radhashtami festival in Vrindavan". www.radhavallabh.com. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
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