Ashtami Rohini is the celebration of the birthday of Lord Krishna. This is the same as Krishna Janmashtami in the north India with regional variations. Ashtami Rohini falls in the Malayalese month of Chingam (August-September) under the fourth lunar asterism or Rohini Nakshatra, on the 8th quart of the moon Ashtami.
Celebrating Ashtami Rohini
Ashtami Rohini, also known as Gokulashtami and Krishna Jayanti or Janmashtami is observed as a day of fasting (vratham) by the devotees of Lord Krishna. As Lord Krishna's birth 'Avathaaram' is said to have taken place on mid-night, women, specially Namboothiri women, stay awake till mid-night and keep a vigil to the Lord. Time is passed with recreational activities and merriment. Girls usually perform the graceful Kaikottikkali and sing songs. It is only after performing the traditional poojas at mid-night that the devotees partake things that have already been offered to the Lord.
Krishna temples are brilliantly decorated at this time with oil lamps and festivities continue till early hours of morning. Large numbers of devotees gather on this day for a glimpse of their Lord in full shringar. Major celebrations take place in the Guruvayur Devaswom. Devotees throng this temple with Appam and Palpayasam (cakes of rice paste and jaggery). These are considered to be Lord's favourite food. Special feasts are arranged for the devotees by the various Krishna temples on this day