Festivals are an integral part of the bhakti-yoga tradition. With a myriad of colourful decorations, sumptuous meals, elaborate rituals, music, dance and dramas – festivals are days to rejuvenate our spiritual sentiments and a time for community, reflection and fun. Our Founder-Acharya, Srila Prabhupada describes festivals as “mothers of devotion”. The sacred culture and spirituality of bhakti is open to anyone to participate in. For us, there is no modern day substitute for these soul-satisfying experiences!
Gaura Purnima is a Gaudiya Vaishanva festival that celebrates the divine appearance of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Navadwipa, India. Gaura Purnima means “Golden Full Moon”. The name signifies that Lord Caitanya took birth at time of full moon and He blesses everyone with the moonlike rays of His teachings.
Sri Rama Navami is the auspicious appearance day of Lord Sri Ramachandra. Sri Ramachandra appeared in the month of Chaitra (March – April), on the ninth day of the growing moon (Chaitra Masa, Shukla Paksha, Navami Tithi).
Bhakti Vighna Vinashak Narasimha Dev, the destroyer of all obstacles on the path of bhakti, is very merciful to all his devotees and his appearance day, which is celebrated on the chaturdashi tithi of the Vaishakh month is known as Narasimha Caturdashi. This festival is very special day for all the devotees.
Panihati chida-dahi Mahotsava
The Chida-dadhi Mahotsav, also known as the Chipped Rice Festival of Panihati, is a yearly celebration of the pastimes of Srila Raghunatha dasa Goswami and Lord Nityananda Prabhu. This astonishing pastime took place on the banks of the Ganges at Panihati, which is just north of Calcutta.
Jhulan Yatra is one of the most important festivals for the followers of Lord Krishna celebrated in the monsoon month of Shravan. Jhulan is a joyful festival celebrating the Radha-Krishna amour coupled with the romantic fervor of the rainy season. This festival is known for its spectacular display of decorated swings, song and dance.
Sri Krishna Janmashtami
Sri Krishna Janmashtami, the appearance day of Lord Krishna, is the most auspicious day on which Lord Krishna appeared in this world to please his devotees and annihilate the demons.
One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.
— Bhagavad Gita 4.9
Sri Vyasa Puja
So this Vyasa-puja means one day in a year, on the birthday of our spiritual master – Srila Prabhupada, because he is representative of Vyasa — he is delivering the same knowledge which has come down by disciplic succession without any change — he is offered the respect. This is called Vyasa-puja.
Radhashtami is celebrated on the eighth day of the bright fortnight (shukla paksha ashtami) in the month of Bhadra (August – September). It is a very significant festival for the devotees. Radharani is the mother of the entire universe and on this auspicious day devotees pray to Her to bless them with Krishna-bhakti.
Deepotsava, also known as the festival of lights, is celebrated in the month of Kartika (October – November) every year. It is a month-long festival commemorating Damodara-lila, the sweet pastime of baby Krishna stealing butter and consequently being tied to a mortar by His dear mother Yashoda. In Sanskrit, “dama” means rope and “udara” means belly. Damodara refers to Krishna who was bound with a rope by His mother Yashoda.
The day after Diwali is called Annakuta, or Govardhana Puja. On this day the inhabitants of Vrindavan (Lord Krishna’s abode on Earth) used to hold a festival to honor King Indra, the demigod responsible for providing the rains essential for a successful harvest.
Govardhana Puja highlights Lord Krishna’s love towards His devotees. Worshipping the cows is an important part of this festival.
Gita Jayanti is the auspicious day of the advent of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. On this day, 5000 years ago, on the battlefield of Kuruksetra, the Supreme Lord delivered the most confidential and topmost knowledge of devotional service to His lotus feet in the form of the Bhagavad-gita to His dearmost devotee Arjuna, and to humanity at large, in order to help all devotees understand the purpose of life and the way to surrender to Him.
Devotees of Lord Vishnu observe Ekadashi Vrata and engage in remembering the Supreme Lord by chanting His Holy Names and singing His glories. Ekadashi is the eleventh day of the fortnight of the waxing or waning moon and occurs twice in a month. But the Ekadashi that occurs in the month of Margashirsha (December – January) during the fortnight of waxing moon is of special significance, and is glorified as Vaikuntha Ekadashi.
Akhanda Harinaam Sankirtan
An opportunity to associate with Krishna in person, through His Holy Name. Spend the whole day in relishing the nectarian holy name – away from all the usual distractions. Chant & dance in the tune of the Holy name in the association of devotees. Deepen your relationship with the Holy Name. Open your heart and allow the Holy Name to do His mysterious work on it.
Sri Nityananda Trayodashi is the auspicious appearance day of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna appeared in Navadvipa as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to establish the Sankirtana Movement (the Yuga Dharma for this age of quarrel and hypocrisy). To help the Supreme Lord in His mission, Lord Balarama appeared as Nityananda Prabhu. He assisted Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by spreading the holy name of the Lord throughout Bengal.