Krishna jayanthi is the celebration of the birth of lord krishna,in south india it's also known as Gokulashtami. Lord Sri Krishna was born on the 'Rohini' nakshatram (star) on Ashtami day,so it also known as Asthami Rohini In kerala.
Sri Krishna is Lord Vishnu's eighth avatar (incarnation) on earth. He is considered to be the Lord's most glorious incarnations.This festival occurs on the eight day of the dark half of the month Shravan. We decorate our house with flowers ,rangoli , mavela thoranam at doorstep and small feets are drawn with rice flour from entrance to puja room .It 's believed that baby krishna visits his devotee's house to bless them ,leaving behind his foot prints.i remember once my grandma dipped my infant brother 's legs in the flour n drew the foot steps.she takes ''vratham'' (fasting) till midnight chanting slokams n reciting prayers from bagavet gita.
Special dishes like appam,murukku,payasam,aval,seedai ,ladduu and butter are offered to lord.In the evening a special puja is done and people ask one another" kannan onga veetukku vandacha?" (Has Kannan come to your house?).At night we go to krishnan temple near our house ,kolattam is performed by kids dressed up as Krishna and Radha . It is a replete with love for lord krishna.
Yesterday we celebrated with Pal payasam and Aravanai as ''naivedhiyam''.I really wished to draw footprints ,but houses here in usa are laid with carpet.hmmm.....so I couldn't.At that moment I thought east or west india is the best.
Just tried mom's recipe and I like to share here.here it goes......
Basmati rice /unakkallari(red rice) 1/4 cup
water 1 cup
sugar 1/2 cup
ghee for frying
cardamom 5 nos
raisins 5nos (optional)
Mix together all the ingredients in a pressure cooker.Cook on a high flame till the first whistle.Soon after the first whistle is heard, lower the fire and cook for half an hour.Fry cashews and raisins in ghee.Garnish the paayasam with the fried cashews and raisins.Serve hot or chilled
ARAVANAI PAYASAM /SWEET PONGAL
Raw rice - ½ cup
Green gram(Cheruparippu) - ½ cup
Ghee - ½ cup
Jaggery(Sharkkara) - 3 cups
Copra(dried coconut) pieces - ¼ cup
Cashews(chopped) - ¼ cup
Raisins(Onakka munthiri) - ¼ cup
Sugar candy(Kalkandam) - ¼ cup (optional)
Grated coconut - ½ cup(optional)
Lightly roast green gram, till a nice aroma comes and the colour changes.Wash rice and dal together.Heat up a pressure pan.Add rice and dal along with 2 cups of water.Close the cooker, keep the weight and cook upto 2 whistlesAllow it to cool.Add ½ cup of water to jaggery and heat on a low flame, stirring continuously, till the jaggery dissolves compeletely. Strain and add to the rice-dal mixture.Cook, adding ghee little by little.Add the copra fried in ghee.When the whole mixture becomes a mass, add cashew and raisins fried in littleghee.Remove from the flame.Add sugarcandy and freshly grated coconut.
Tips... It can be made only with rice without adding dal.You can cook the mixture for just one whistle and if thus made, rice will be slightly grainy.You can add 1 cup of ghee and 4 cups of jaggery.