for SABC News on March 25, 2008
Tens of thousands of Hare Krishna movement devotees across the country celebrated the festival of chariots today. The festival started in India and dates back thousands of years.
The main event was held in Durban today, and was hosted by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
For the first time, a South African has been chosen to lead the movement's Southern Africa Region. He will be responsible for strengthening the Hare Krishna movement in Swaziland, Lesotho and Zambia.
"It is a great honour for me to be able to come to the point where I dedicate my life wholly to serve our people spiritually and also to serve God with my whole life,” says Jagat Guruda, the new swami in Southern Africa.
The devotees celebrated with prayer, service and joyful songs. The festival runs over four days, and attracts more than 250,000 people. It will end on Monday.