Festivals

Holi    Gaura Purnima    Jhulan Yatra    Krishna Janmasthami    Srila Prabhupada's Appearance Day
Radhastami    Kartika    Govardhana Puja and Anakuta    Srila Prabhupada's Disappearance Day

 

There are numerous festivals throughout the year celebrating the Lord’s appearance and various pastimes as well as the lives of great saints. The major festivals are described below.

Festival Dates

Festivals 2009 2010 2011
Holi   2/28 3/19
Gaura Purnima   2/28 3/19
Jhulana Yatra 8/1 8/20 8/9
Janmastami 8/14 9/2 8/22
SP Appearance 8/15 9/3 8/23
Radhastami 8/27 9/15 9/5
Kartika 10/4-11/1 10/22-11/20 10/11-11/9
Govardhan Puja 10/19 11/7 10/27
SP Disappearance 10/22 11/9 10/30

Holi

Holi is celebrated for several days, at different places around Braja, before the actual day of Holi. People throw colored powdered dye and colored water on each other. This is joyfully celebrated in Vraja, especially at Varsana, Nandagram and Dauji. In Varsana the festival includes colorful processions with music, song, dance, and some boisterous scenes around the temples. If you go to these festivals you should expect to be totally covered in dye and never able to use the clothes you are wearing again, at least until next year’s festival.

Gaura Punima

This is an major Gaudiya Vaishnava festival that falls at the same time as Holi (Feb.-March).

Many temples in Vrindavana were established by followers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and His appearance day is regarded as an important festival.

 

Jhulan Yatra Mahotsava (Swing Festival)

During Jhulan Yatra the Radha-Krishna Deities in the temples are swung on a swing. This is one of the biggest festivals of the year in Vrindavana. It is very crowded at this time. Often the swings are made of gold or silver. Some of the main temples for this festival are the Banke Bihari, Radha-Raman, Dwarkadisha Temple (Mathura) and the Larily Lal Temple (Varsana).

 

 

Krishna Janmastami

This celebrates the appearance day of Lord Krishna in Mathura. It is celebrated in an elaborate way in Vrindavana. The temples are beautifully decorated. Dramas are performed, which depict the pastimes of Krishna. There is a elaborate arati at 12 midnight in temples all over Vrindavana.

 

Appearance Day of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

This is the appearance day of Srila Prabhupada, who is the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. There is a festival held in the morning at the Krishna Balarama Temple. This event is also observed at some other temples in Vrindavana.

Radhastami

This is the appearance day of Srimati Radharani. It is 15 days after the appearance of Lord Krishna. There is an all night kirtan held the night before Radhastami at the Larily Lal Temple in Varsana, ending with an ecstatic mangala arati. Many people go the Varsana on this day for this very popular festival. Temples throughout Vrindavana celebrate this major festival.

Kartika

This is a very auspicious month in Vrindavana. Every night lamps are offered to the Deities in many temples. This month is also known as the month of Damodar. There is a special program of worshiping the Lord in His Damodar form. Damodar refers to Krishna’s being bound with rope by His mother, Yasoda. Thousands of pilgrims come to Vrindavana during this holy month.

 

Govardhana Puja and Annakuta

This festival is celebrated the day after Dipawali, during Kartika. This popular festival celebrates Krishna’s lifting Govardhan Hill and the offering of a mountain of food items to Govardhan Hill by Nanda Maharaja and the residents of Vraja. In most of the temples in the area, huge quantities of food are prepared in this ceremony and then distributed to the general public. On this day Govardhan Hill is worshiped. Govardhan Puja is also known as the Annakuta festival. On this day there is a continuous stream of visitors to Govardhan Hill. Manasi Ganga and Jati Pura are especially crowded.

The Disappearance Day of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

This festival to remember and glorify Srila Prabhupada is held during the day at his Samadhi Mandir at the Krishna Balarama Temple. Srila Prabhupada is the one who “introduced Vrindavana to the world” and spread Krishna consciousness around the globe.

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