Jhulana-yatra is a festival to celebrate Radha Krishna’s pastime of swinging on a golden swing everyday until Balarama-purnima.
Jhulan Yatra is a festival to celebrate Radha Krishna’s pastime of swinging on a golden swing everyday until Balarama Purnima. Lord Krishna and his consort Sri Radha and along with the gopis (cowherd girls) and gopas (cowherd boys) swing in the monsoon season in Vrindavan with music and dance.
Starting on the ekadasi of waxing moon of Sridhara month, many temples in Vrndavana celebrate Krsna’s swing festival, some for one day, others for more days. Traditionally many of the Deities of the Lord wears various clothing with green in it over this period until the Balaram Purnima. Again it is a practical festive service that the devotees provide for the Lord. Monsoon is so humid, and the temperature is still so hot despite the cooling rains. With so much water coming from the sky, on the ground, and just about everywhere the last thing that anyone wants is more water to cool off. The opulence at this time is to find a breeze, as the air is heavy with the humidity of the rains. So the devotees arrange for the pleasure and satisfaction of Krishna, Balaram, and Srimati Radhika by placing them on a swing (Jhulan) and creating their own breeze from the motion. It is a most pleasing and satisfying festival, with the swings often highly decorated with forest creepers, Jasmine (Malati) that has newly blossomed in the season, and streamers of garlands. Sometimes they use a fine spray of rose water and direct it toward the Divine couple of Radha and Krishna on Their swing.
Lordships, Radha Krishnachandra is decorated nicely and seated on a swing . All devotees wait patiently in a queue to swing Their Lordships. The swing (jhulana) beautified with splendid flower decorations, colorful beads, etc. A special flower rope is used to pull the swing. An arotik is performed after Sri Sri Radha Madhava are seated on the swing, and devotees bring a variety of bhoga to please Their Lordships. Kirtana and bhajans go on for almost two hours, and many visitors join in to pull Their Lordship’s swing.
In this regard Sri Hari-bhakti-vilasa states,
“To please Sri Hari, devotees hold numerous festivals on every occasion and continuously perform sankirtana. According to their ability, the devotees serve the Lord during the summer by placing Him on the boat, taking Him out on a procession, applying sandalwood on His body, fanning Him with chamara, decorating Him with jeweled necklaces, offering Him palatable foodstuffs, and bringing Him out to swing Him in the pleasant moonlight.”