for Asian Image on Aug. 27, 2010
Tens of thousands of pilgrims and guests will visit Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna Temple later this week to celebrate Janmashtami, the birth of Lord Krishna.
The festival will include lively plays, traditional Indian dances, melodious singing, food stalls, multi-media shows, elaborate worship, meditation and chanting, youth tents, games, children's areas, bullock-wagon rides and much more.
On Janmashtami Day itself, Thursday 2nd, the festival will continue until everyone has been in the Temple room.
In the Children’s area, a thousand children will have their faces painted blue, many carrying flutes and wearing peacock feathers in their hair, dressing like Lord Krishna as part of the festive spirit.
Another festival highlight will include a flowered walkway through the spiritual gardens and woodland. You will journey through the life and pastimes of Lord Krishna. As you approach the shrine the excitement will build, climaxing with a glimpse of the spectacular deity of Krishna decorated with thousands of flowers.
The festival will launch the first literacy program in the world to incorporate both language and phonics systems.
It is the first and only Learning to Read program in the world where the books can be heard in 25 languages. The children’s books depict many adventures of Lord Krishna and other stories from the Hindu scriptures.
“We use a system called MagicPEN, which is used by only a handful of publishers,” said Dr. Edith E. Best, an educator with more than thirty years of experience in both primary and secondary education and teacher training.
“You touch each page with a computerized pen that has a speaker built into it, and it picks up an invisible bar code and reads the page out to you.”
The entire festival is managed and run by 1300 volunteers from the community who gather every evening after work for a month prior to the event and put in countless hours of hard work for the occasion.
Janmashtami at Bhaktivedanta Manor attracts people of all backgrounds, including politicians, business leaders, faith representatives and people who would like to learn more about devotion to Lord Krishna.
Srutidharma das, Temple President said, “I am looking forward to see the happy faces of so many children at the festival.
"The event is the show piece of our devotion to Lord Krishna and that of 1500 volunteers who have helped to make this festival such a success every year.
"With creativity and devotion, our volunteers have strived to produce yet again something different and spectacular. I am sure all our pilgrims and visitors who come will be uplifted spiritually. “