India Celebrates Janmashtami

India Celebrates Janmashtami lesson plan

Find out about the Hindu festival of Janmashtami and the nine masquerades of Vishnu.

  • 1.

    Celebrating a birthday is a great reason for a festival. In India more than 800 million people celebrate Janmashtami to commemorate the birth of Krishna. Many different Hindu approaches and traditions are practiced throughout the world in different countries. The Janmashtami festival reminds Hindus of Vishne's triumph of good over evil.

  • 2.

    During the Janmashtami celebrations, The Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu holy book in the form of a poem, is read without stopping. Many stories about Krishna are told, especially about his birth and his many pranks. Statues of Krishna as a baby are rocked. Plays are staged about the stories. Songs and dances are performed. Research more about these Krishna tales on the Internet or by asking people in your community who are Hindu.

  • 3.

    To show what you are learning about Janmashtami, use Crayola® Colored Pencils to draw the nine masquerades of Vishnu--a fish, tortoise, boar, lion, dwarf, warrior, ideal man, blue figure, and Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Think about how to arrange these personalities to show that they are all Vishnu. Art books are fine resources for Hindu style ideas. Make your images dark, so they stand out.


  • Children research information about India and Hinduism, one of the world's major faiths.
  • Students find out about Janmashtami, a Hindu festival widely celebrated in India.
  • Students create drawings that reflect their knowledge about Janmashtami and the nine masquerades of Vishnu, one of Brahman's representatives.


  • Hindu holidays are based on a lunar calendar. Janmashtami falls on the eighth day of the black half of Bhadra (spanning August and September). Look at a lunar schedule and chart when this holiday will fall each year.
  • Learn a story about Krishna and perform it as a play for another class. Create your own sets and costumes.
  • Research other religions to learn about their holy days that celebrate an important birth. What elements are the same and which are different?