for Alachua Today (Florida, USA) on Aug. 30, 2008
L-R: Visvambar Sheth, Krsna Kishor Rico, Balarama Tirtha Rico, Anapayani Jakupko enact the story of Krishna leaving Vrindavan.
ALACHUA – Nearly 2,000 people gathered in Alachua on Saturday to celebrate the birthday of Krishna, the deity worshiped in the Hare Krishna religion.
The celebration, which took place at the New Raman Reti Temple on N.W. 112th Boulevard, featured a miniature replica of the Village of Vrndavan, which was the home of Krishna.
The replica had seven major temples and holy places that are in Vrndavan, India, and visitors to the six-hour event experienced the sights, sounds and tastes that were present in Krishna’s home.
The temple officials first decided to create the replica for last year’s event, and it was such a success that they chose to make it an annual feature.
Planning for the replica takes about nine months, but 25 people spend only two days constructing the temples.
The food at the event was all vegetarian, including rice and vegetables.
The Alachua temple serves some 1,000 members, making it the largest temple of its kind in North America.