Krishna Janmashtami is an auspicious day for every Hindu. It is a very special day for people who follow Vaishnavism. It is the day when Lord Krishna took birth on this earth. Lord Krishna is the eighth avatar of the protector Lord Vishnu. So it is the day of happiness. Followers of Lord Krishna are singing & dancing on this day. They pray to the God and devotees offer bhog (prasad) to God. Many people also offer chappan bhog to Lord Krishna on this day. Yes, people offer 56 types of food items to Lord Krishna on his birthday (Krishna Jayanti).
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna took birth to Devki and Vasudeva in Mathura. He was the eighth son of his parents. His uncle Kansa who was a cruel king came to know that Devki & Vasudeva’s eighth son would be the reason for his death. So he started killing all of their sons one by one. But Krishna was successful to escape from King Kansa. his father brought him to Vrindavan where his friend Nanda and Devki were living. Then Devki & Nanda were taking care of young Krishna. The cruel king Kansa put his biological parents inside the cell (karagar). But finally, the day came and lord Krishna punished Kansa and save the people of Mathura from cruel king Kansa.
Krishna Janmashtami date 2021
This year Sri Krishna Janmashtami festival will be celebrated on 30th August 2021
The mythological reason behind offering chappan bhog on Krishna Jayanti
As per Hindu mythology, When Krishna was living in Vrindavan, the people of Vrindavan used to offer many many foods to Lord Indra to satisfy Lord India (God of rain & storm). But Lord Krishna told people not to offer so many things to Indra. So people did the same. But Indra got angry and Vrindavan witnessed a massive rainfall & storm for many days. People came to Krishna and ask to rescue them. Krishan told them to reach near Govardhan mountain. Lord Krishna lifted the hill on this little finger so that everybody can take shelter under the Govardhan mountain. Krishna kept on holding the mountain for 7 days, till Indra realized his mistake. During the 7 days, Krishna did not eat anything. So the people of Vrindavan offer food (bhog) for 7 days at a time. Krishna used to eat after every prahar (3 hours). There are 8 prahar in a single day. So they offered 56 (7*8) types of items to Krishna to eat.
So this was the logic behind offering chappan bhog on Krishna Jayanti.
Krishna Janmashtami chappan bhog idea
56 bhog list for Janmashtami
|7 types of Sharbat/Drinks: Plain water, aam pana, Bael pana, Lassi (wood apple lassi, mango lassi, litchi lassi), Fruit juice (jamun sharbat, pineapple juice), Smoothie (mango smoothie, muskmelon smoothie, water melon smoothie) and lemonade|
|7 types of starters: Paneer pakoda, beguni (brinjal fritters), Samosa, Pani puri/puchka, Namkeen, Farsan/sev/gathiya, Any chaat|
|7 dry fruit snacks : Almonds, Walnuts, Cashew, Raisins (Kishmish), Pistachios, Dates, Aam papad|
|7 main course dishes : Plain rice, Khichdi/pulao (Basanti pulao), Luchi/poori, one paneer curry (paneer rezala curry), one veg curry (patta gobi curry, Aloo gobi dry, niramsih dum aloo, ghiya chana sabji), dal, saag (Kalmi saag bhaja, palong shak ghonto, pui shak ghonto)|
|7 side dishes: 4 vegetable fries, raita/curd, salad, papad,|
|7 sweet dishes (wet): Fruit sweet chutney, Payes/kheer/payasam, Rabdi, Rasamalai, Rasgulla, Gulab jamun/pantua, Jalebi|
|7 sweet dishes (dry) : Besan laddu/sattu laddu, Boondi laddu/motichoor laddu, till ka laddu/chikki, Sandesh, Kaju katli, Taler bora/pakoda, Pati sahpta/jibe goja|
|6 fruits & 1 Paan: Mango, Jackfruit, Banana, Pineapple, Chickoo, Jamun and Indian mouth freshener paan (betel leaves)|
(List of chhappan bhog items in English)
Many people offer 56 types of food items to God on this day of Krishna Jayanti. They decorate everything so well with a lot of happiness in the heart.
People include almost everything what delicious in the region. There are various types of drinks, different starter items that local people also love. They also add various locally available dry fruits. Now as it is chappan bhog, so people include rice, khichdi and luchi/poori. You can add two types of veg curry, dal etc. Most people add a dish prepared with leafy vegetable or saag. Many people add various types of vegetable fries. Here in Bengal, people add 5-6 types of vegetable fries (aloo bhaja, begun bhaja, kumro bhaja, potol bhaja, kakrol bhaja, uchche bhaja etc). You can add curd or raita in the menu as a side dish. Salad & papad are also important side dishes. Without sweet dishes any festival is incomplete. So as you are offering 56 bhog to God then sweet dishes will play an important role here. I will prefer to add 7 types of wet sweets and 7 types of dry sweets. At the end a lot of fruits and mouth freshener paan are important. So offer atleast 5-6 types of seasonal fruits.