Janmashtami Fast

Ardent followers of Lord Krishna celebrate Janmashtami by keeping ‘Nirjal’ fasts. … Devotees fasting on janmashtami break the fast at midnight after the birth of Lord Krishna. This kind of fasting involves not having even a single drop of water during the entire day. People feel keeping nirjal or water less fasts will help them get closer to God.

The Janmashtami, one of the most popular festivals of the Hindus is observed on the 8th day of the Krishna Paksha that falls on the Hindu month of Bhadrapada.This festival is all about celebrating the birthday of Lord Krishna. A primary ritual of the Janmashtami is the fast observed by the devotees of Lord Krishna.

Types of Janmashtami Fast
The different types of fast observed by Hindus on the Janmashtami are mentioned below.
Nirjal Fast:

Janmashtami Fast
Nirjal Fast

Under the Nirjal Fast or Upavasa on Janmashtami, one stays without food and water all throughout the day. People believe that if they observe a fast and sacrifice food and water on this auspicious occasion, they would get closer to God. They also believe that observing a fast is the only thing they can offer to the almighty to have their desires fulfilled.

Janmashtami fast is believed to help the devotees of Lord Krishna get rid of helplessness. The devotees break the fast at midnight when the aarti is performed and a special offering of food is made to Lord Krishna.

Phalahar Fast:

Fast with Fruits
Phalahar Fast

The devotees who fail to observe the Nirjal Fast conduct the Phalahar Vrat. This kind of fasting is not as strict as the Nirjal Fast. As such, the devotees can have milk and fruits. However, they are usually not allowed to have cereals and salt on the day of Janmashtami.

Whether the devotees keep a Nirjal Fast or Phalahar Vrat, they usually indulge in singing devotional songs and chanting the mantra –
‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’.
Some of them also read out chapters from the Srimad Bhagavad Purana during the fast.

Janmashtami Fast Dishes

  • The devotees of Lord Krishna offer special sweets like pedha and kalakand to the God on the occasion of Janmashtami.
  • In addition, they offer sweet dishes like shrikhand and til ki kheer (or sesame pudding) to the deity.
  • Since the Lord was fond of milk and butter products, hence sweet dishes are mostly offered to him on this occasion. The devotees would only consume the dishes after they’ve offered it to the deity.

Recipes for Janmashtami Fast Dishes
Check out the recipes for some of the popular dishes prepared on the Janmashtami.
This is one of the most popular Janmashtami fast dishes that you may offer to the deity. The total time required to prepare this dish is around 15 minutes. The ingredients and instructions for this recipe are given below.


  • 1 kg of curd
  • Around 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of warm milk
  • 2 teaspoon of cardamom powder
  • Saffron strands
  • Small and thin pieces of pistachios and almonds


  • Put saffron strands into the milk.
  • Pour the saffron and milk mixture, cardamom, sugar, and curd in a bowl.
  • Stir the ingredients using a blender.
  • Garnish the sweet dish with pistachios and almonds.

Til ki kheer or Sesame pudding:

Recipes for Janmashtami Fast
Til ki kheer or Sesame pudding

The ingredients and instructions to cook this sweet dish are given below.

The ingredients and instructions to cook this sweet dish are given below.


  • 100 gms of white til
  • 40 gms of sugar
  • 100 gms of coconut, dried out completely
  • 1 tablespoon of raisin
  • 4-5 pieces of green cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon of cashew nuts broken into pieces and soaked in warm water
  • 1 tin of condensed milk
  • 1 litre of full cream milk


  • Dry roast til and keep it aside after crushing it.
  • Boil milk in a saucepan for around 10 minutes and stir repeatedly.
  • Add condensed milk into the saucepan.
  • Stir and cook the mixture for around 10 minutes.
  • Crush the cardamom pieces and add them into the milk.
  • Add sugar to the milk and cardamom, and stir the mixture.
  • Add roasted til and coconut.
  • Stir the mixture and cook it for more than 10 minutes.
  • Use cashew nuts and raisins to garnish your sweet dish.


Janmashtami Fast sweet Recipes

If you’d like to prepare pedha during the Janmashtami fast, here’s how you should go for it.


  • 500 gms of crushed khoya
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder
  • 300 gms of powdered sugar
  • 8 to 10 sliced pistachios
  • Cookie moulds
  • 2-3 drops of food color


  • Add sugar to the crushed khoya in a pan.
  • Heat the khoya on low flame.
  • Stir the mixture repeatedly.
  • Cook the mixture until it turns thick.
  • Cool the mixture for 10 minutes.
  • Add cardamom and food color.
  • Stir the mixture and take a small amount of it to press into the cookie mould.
  • Press 3 slices of pistachio at the center.

Your pedhas are ready to be offered to the deity!

These are some of the recipes prepared by devotees while they are on a fast on the day of Janmashtami. Aside from these dishes, some people may have curd and even vegetables during the daytime. That’s because these devotees often refrain from keeping a Nirjal Fast due to health reasons and other unavoidable issues.

However, staunch devotees still believe that the fast can help them get connected to the almighty. Hence, they prefer keeping the Janmashtami fast with great dedication and devotion toward Lord Krishna.


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