Krishna appeared in Vrindavan, India, 5 000 years ago. His transcendental appearance day, celebrated every year in August or September, is Krishna Janmashtami. Krishna Janmashtami is the grandest of all Vaishnava festivals. The celebration begins at 4.30 a.m withmangal-arati. The temple room is full of devotees anxious to have early darshanof the Lord on this special day and kirtan is especially enthusiastic. The greeting of the Deities takes place later than usual to allow the pujaris to decorate the Deity room and to dress Krishna more opulently and gorgeously in a new outfit usually embroidered in India.
All day, there are readings from the Krishna Book and bhajans in the temple room. In the kitchen, devotees prepare a big feast of at least 108 varieties of preparations to be offered to Krishna at midnight.
Nearly 9,00,000 devotees visit the temple this for taking the Darshan of their Lordships for Krishna Janmashtami.
A 50 000 square foot main tent is erected for the main evening programme of kirtan, bhajan, drama, dance, lecture and abhishek. A guest speaker is invited from overseas for the occasion. Smaller tents host booths explaining our philosophy, presenting local projects, and selling sweets, savouries, books, CDs and cassettes, and other devotional paraphernalia. We also have booths for children and a big prasadam tent, serving a free hot meal to all our guests.
The grand abhishek (bathing the Deity with auspicious substances) and the midnight arati are highlights of the evening tent programme. Fasting is until midnight. Devotees break their fast with ekadasi prasadam and get ready for the next day, which is Srila Prabhupada’s Appearance day festival.