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LONDON: An estimated 70,000 people from all over the UK visited the Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna Temple in Watford for Europe’s biggest and most spectacular Janmashtami festival, celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna.
Bhaktivedanta Manor’s serene and peaceful grounds were transformed into a magnificent festival, brought to life with the sound of music, dancing, stage shows, face paintings, stalls selling books, fresh organic produce, jewellery, musical instruments, and CDs.
One of the major highlights of the festival held yesterday at Watford, northwest of central London, was the recreation of the beautiful forests of Vrindavan in India where Lord Krishna played when he was growing up.
The birth of Lord Krishna is a story of good triumphing over the evil.
Krishna’s parents Devaki and Vasudev were imprisoned by his uncle Kansa, after a prophecy told him that he would be killed by Devaki’s eighth son.
Out of fear, he killed every baby born to his sister, however, when the baby Krishna was born at midnight in the prison cell, he was saved after his father managed to escape from the prison and took him to safety without his uncle knowing.
Years later, Krishna fulfilled the prophecy and killed the evil Kansa.
Around 1,500 volunteers, aged from 16 to 94, gave up their time to take part in helping to set up the grounds for the festival.
It took almost a month of planning to get the venue ready for Janmashtami, and it was without doubt one of the largest Krishna’s birth celebrations outside India.
Srutidharma Dasa, Temple President of Bhaktivedanta Manor said: “Janmashtami is without doubt the most special day in our calendar, because it marks the birth of Lord Krishna.
The atmosphere at Bhaktivedanta Manor is just magical, and we are proud to be hosting the biggest birthday party for Lord Krishna in Europe.
We are indebted to the hundreds of dedicated volunteers that have committed hours of their time to get the festival ready for the thousands of visitors that will come to the temple this weekend. It was a spectacular event.”
Severe traffic delays in Watford due to Hare Krishna festival
Severe traffic delays are currently being experienced in Watford and the surrounding area believed to be caused by people heading to the Hare Krishna festival in Aldenham.
Delays are currently being experienced throughout the Watford area but particularly around junction 5 of the M1 heading into Watford, on the A41heading towards Sandy Lane and at the roundabout at Hartspring Lane.
Road closures have been put in place on the southbound A41 at junction 5 of the M1 and the north bound exit of junction 5 of M1.
Delays are likely to remain for a couple of hours and are expected to happen again around midnight in Watford and the surrounding areas as people leave the festival. Motorists are advised to avoid the area if at all possible.
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