ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Manor grounds will be transformed to reflect Lord Krishna's childhood for Janmashtami celebrations

Janmashtami 2016 in UK: NRIs and London Indians throng ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Manor to explore Vrindavan, Krishna Land and cultural festivities

Archana Venkatraman

Krishna Janmashtami – the celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna - is one of the most celebrated festivals by Indians around the world.

Like every year, Janmashtami 2016 in UK too is celebrated with as much pomp, verve and festivities as it is in India. Celebrations are on from Thursday, August 25th to Sunday, August 28th 2016 featuring prayers, kirtans, bhajans, cultural activities and traditional food.

File Photo 2015 Janmasthami decorations at ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Manor

The most significant Krishna Janmashtami celebrations in the UK is marked at ISKCON’s Bhaktivedanta Manor in London Watford (Hertfordshire). The four-day packed programme schedule features Kirtans, aartis, bhajans, dance and drama shows, abhisheks, and mahaprasad (pratibhojan) from 2pm onwards. Like every year, the main celebrations will be conducted in a large makeshift tent at the Bhaktivedanta Manor grounds and is expected to attract tens of thousands of devotees (as many as 70,000) to become the largest Janmashtami celebrations outside of India.

Shree Krishna Janmashtami 2016 at Bhaktivedanta Manor UK

Every year during Janmashtami celebrations, Bhaktivedanta Manor's grounds are transformed into a magnificent festival and brought to life with music, interactive multimedia displays, traditional dance performances, dramas, Japa mediation, learn more about the philosophy, as well as a Krishnaland for children.

Bhaktivedanta Manor grounds transformed into magnificient festival area themed to explore Lord Krishna's childhood

Bhaktivedanta Manor’s Janmashtami 2016 theme includes awe-inspiring and imagination-fueling concepts such as “Bhakti on the beach” – an interactive gameshow on a beach exploring Bhagvad Gita; as well as “Secrets of Vrindavan” – a miniature recreation of Lord Krishna’s Vrindavan Gardens where the Lord is believed to have spent his childhood. There is also an area dedicated to “Science of the Soul” where devotees can discover their real selves through a synthesis of science and spiritual philosophy. Kids will have plenty to explore too and discover Indian culture by entering Vrindavan, “Krishna Land”, swing baby Krishna and have picnics with family in dedicated areas. There will be several food stalls on the ground and a bazaar area to purchase spiritual artefacts, books and audio CDs among others.

While Bhaktivedanta Manor hosted UK’s biggest Krishna Janmashtami festival, other ISKCON temples including ISKCON Birmingham, and ISKCON Manchester too celebrate Gokulashtami 2016 with kirtans, aartis, bhajans, drama, dance and vegetarian feasts. BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in London Neasden will also celebrate Janmashtami on Thursday, August 25th with devotional singing, aarti, rajbhog aarti and annakut darshan.

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