Swirls of colour at Janmashtami Festival at Bhaktivedanta Manor, in Hilfield Lane, Aldenham

Swirls of colour at Lord Krishna's birthday

Children took part in a play about Lord Krishna’s life

The forests where Lord Krishna played where he was growing up were recreated

First published in News
Last updated
Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Swathes of blue filled a temple as thousands of people dressed up as Hindu deity Krishna to mark his birthday.

The biggest Janmashtami Festival outside of India took place at Bhaktivedanta Manor, in Hilfield Lane, Aldenham, yesterday and today (Sunday).

More than 70,000 people attended the event, which saw the house's peaceful grounds bought to life with the sound of music, colourful exhibitions and traditional dance displays.

Devaki Dasi, who volunteered at the festival, said: “It’s been an amazing day celebrating the birth of our God.

“Krishna is our hero and when you love someone, you go out of your way to make them happy. We want to spread that joy.

“We want to inspire people and make them aware of Krishna’s love. That’s what this is about, bringing people together who have one common interest.”

The event, which is comparable within the Hindu community to Christmas, combines traditional entertainments with worship.

People painted their faces blue, carried flutes and wore peacocks in their hair to dress like Krishna.

Thousands of people also passed through the altar room to pay their respects to Krishna, and the forests of Vrindavan in India, where Lord Krishna played where he was growing up, were recreated.

Children took part in a play about Lord Krishna’s life and adults staged a performance of Fakebook, a show about people’s perceptions of reality.

A vast selection of free Indian food was also on offer throughout the day, which is said to be the most special in the Hindu calendar.

Bhadranga Das, who has been a monk at the temple for four and a half years, said: “You forget how impressive the whole thing is because you get habituated to it.

“There’s a really nice upbeat atmosphere here, you can really feel the festival spirit all around you.

“It’s a really special day for all the community. As it’s the most important day in our calendar, we go all out for it.”

Temple president Srudidharma Dasa said: “It sends out an enduring message of hope and peace to the world – our faith sees all life as sacred and the world as one family.”

A special ceremony to celebrate the birth of the Lord will be held at midnight tonight (Sunday, August 17).

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:35pm Sun 17 Aug 14

Unsullied says...

All rubbish but at least these people are peaceful.
All rubbish but at least these people are peaceful. Unsullied
  • Score: -5

2:39am Mon 18 Aug 14

John Dowdle says...

All very well but what about the impact on local roads and motorways?
This event is now far too large for this quiet corner of Hertfordshire.
It should move to central London, where traffic will not be such a problem.
I wonder just how much added pollution we experienced locally today?
Why don't the Hare Krishnas insist that people attending the event use public transport and why don't they arrange coaches for attenders too?
All very well but what about the impact on local roads and motorways? This event is now far too large for this quiet corner of Hertfordshire. It should move to central London, where traffic will not be such a problem. I wonder just how much added pollution we experienced locally today? Why don't the Hare Krishnas insist that people attending the event use public transport and why don't they arrange coaches for attenders too? John Dowdle
  • Score: -6

9:30am Mon 18 Aug 14

garston tony says...

John Dowdle wrote:
All very well but what about the impact on local roads and motorways? This event is now far too large for this quiet corner of Hertfordshire. It should move to central London, where traffic will not be such a problem. I wonder just how much added pollution we experienced locally today? Why don't the Hare Krishnas insist that people attending the event use public transport and why don't they arrange coaches for attenders too?
It should move to central London where traffic will not be such a problem. Are you serious! There is nothing but traffic problems in central London JD

Get over it, its once a year
[quote][p][bold]John Dowdle[/bold] wrote: All very well but what about the impact on local roads and motorways? This event is now far too large for this quiet corner of Hertfordshire. It should move to central London, where traffic will not be such a problem. I wonder just how much added pollution we experienced locally today? Why don't the Hare Krishnas insist that people attending the event use public transport and why don't they arrange coaches for attenders too?[/p][/quote]It should move to central London where traffic will not be such a problem. Are you serious! There is nothing but traffic problems in central London JD Get over it, its once a year garston tony
  • Score: 14

11:02am Mon 18 Aug 14

John Dowdle says...

garston tony wrote:
John Dowdle wrote:
All very well but what about the impact on local roads and motorways? This event is now far too large for this quiet corner of Hertfordshire. It should move to central London, where traffic will not be such a problem. I wonder just how much added pollution we experienced locally today? Why don't the Hare Krishnas insist that people attending the event use public transport and why don't they arrange coaches for attenders too?
It should move to central London where traffic will not be such a problem. Are you serious! There is nothing but traffic problems in central London JD

Get over it, its once a year
It is not so serious on a Sunday, which is when this event took place.
With a turnout of 70,000 they could hold it at Wembley, which can hold that many comfortably, I believe.
[quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John Dowdle[/bold] wrote: All very well but what about the impact on local roads and motorways? This event is now far too large for this quiet corner of Hertfordshire. It should move to central London, where traffic will not be such a problem. I wonder just how much added pollution we experienced locally today? Why don't the Hare Krishnas insist that people attending the event use public transport and why don't they arrange coaches for attenders too?[/p][/quote]It should move to central London where traffic will not be such a problem. Are you serious! There is nothing but traffic problems in central London JD Get over it, its once a year[/p][/quote]It is not so serious on a Sunday, which is when this event took place. With a turnout of 70,000 they could hold it at Wembley, which can hold that many comfortably, I believe. John Dowdle
  • Score: 4

6:52pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Cuthbert007 says...

Love this. Amazing festival, fantastic people and this is great publicity for the area. I beleive its the 2nd largest featival outside Indian so great for the local area and pubs, restaurants & hotels etc will surely be happy with the extra business. This will put Watford well and truly on the map!!!
Love this. Amazing festival, fantastic people and this is great publicity for the area. I beleive its the 2nd largest featival outside Indian so great for the local area and pubs, restaurants & hotels etc will surely be happy with the extra business. This will put Watford well and truly on the map!!! Cuthbert007
  • Score: 7

2:30pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Gertrude1 says...

It was a great festival, both visually and musically with the chanting of the Hari Krishna maha mantra vibrating all around. Nowhere else can one experience the truly beautiful, happy loving nature of humans but at these Hari Krishna festivals. I truly believe it is that Hari Krishna mantra that spiritualises the whole atmosphere. It is truly wonderful. No wonder there are so many devotees. Happy Janmashtami...
It was a great festival, both visually and musically with the chanting of the Hari Krishna maha mantra vibrating all around. Nowhere else can one experience the truly beautiful, happy loving nature of humans but at these Hari Krishna festivals. I truly believe it is that Hari Krishna mantra that spiritualises the whole atmosphere. It is truly wonderful. No wonder there are so many devotees. Happy Janmashtami... Gertrude1
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree