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Janmastami 2017 – ISKCON of Houston

Iskcon-in-5

Photos: Thejas Rajaram and Nagaraju Nagalla

HOUSTON: Last Tuesday was a night unlike any other as ISKCON of Houston and Hindus of Greater Houston came together to celebrate Janmastami, which marks the appearance of Lord Sri Krishna. As one of the most popular festivals in the Hindu calendar, it is celebrated with great pomp and circumstance worldwide as a testament of love, life, happiness and devotion to the Supreme Lord with millions gathering in nearly every town and village to commemorate this special occasion.

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This year saw the city’s biggest and most boisterous celebration yet as thousands upon thousands of well-wishers and devotees gathered at the ISKCON of Houston temple to worship, feast, dance and sing the night away on August 15th. Usually celebrated in several different ways in Houston, one of the most famous being the Hindus of Greater Houston’s (HGH) George R Brown Convention center Janmastami, many wondered why it was not celebrated there this year. HGH President said: “We should not frame as HGH moved the venue to ISKCON but rather, “Bringing Hindus together” concept encouraged us to join hands with the devotees at ISKCON of Houston. This year’s Janmastami coincided with several significant events by key supporting organizations and holding this event in convention center would have divided the attendance and therefore HGH decided to rather partner with one of its supporting organization ISKCON for this year.” This way HGH could uphold its motto and the community itself could come together to mark this important occasion… and come together it did.

Evening Aarti Altar

Evening Aarti Altar

From 4 pm to 2 am, nearly eight thousand people came through the temple doors, joined in the amazing kirtan (holy chants), joyfully witnessed the worship of the Lord, enjoyed the outdoor activities and milled through the booths set up by various organizations and nonprofit centers in Houston. In the hall opposite the temple, they observed the adorable children’s costume contests, various cultural performances and one of the most anticipated dramas of the year put up by the ISKCON of Houston youth, The Pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna. A very special attraction at the holy grounds this year was Go (cow) puja. ISKCON’s very own, Mangala (the cow) was enjoying devotees worship her and feed her fruits and vegetables. Of course, the popular attractions included bathing and swinging of Baby Krishna – Gopal.

Costume contest group picture

Costume contest group picture

The collaborative celebration of Janmastami was a great and pleasant experience for HGH. HGH celebrated ISKCON 50 last year and in line with “Bringing Hindus Together” theme – are planning to hold their Hindu Youth awards next year.

Ecstatic Chanting of kirtan in temple

Ecstatic Chanting of kirtan in temple

All this is but a spark of this splendorous festival, and to truly experience it, we invite you to join us next year.

For more information please visit https://iskconhouston.org/

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