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22 August 2011, 07:15
More than 60-thousand people have visited Watford to celebrate Janmashtami - the birthday of the Hindu God Lord Krishna.
The two day event at Bkaktivedanta Manor, which started yesterday (Sunday August 21st), is said to be the largest Hindu festival outside of India.
This year it celebrated the launch of the Ahimsa Dairy Foundation, which sells milk from cows that will be retired when their milking days are over and uses bulls to work the land.
Ahimsa means non-violence and the not-for-profit company has just begun distributing slaughter-free, organic milk in the London and Hertfordshire area in time to celebrate the birthday of Krishna, who was the guardian of cows. The tradition of worshipping Krishna is synonymous with protecting cows.
The President of Bhaktivedanta Manor, Srutidharma Das said: “The Janmashtami festival is a festival of peace in what are troubled times.. Ahimsa is a very important belief in Hinduism and the cow symbolises peace and prosperity in society. When the relationship between humans and cattle is correct everything in the world is in harmony.”
The festival featured hundreds of children with their faces painted blue, many carrying flutes and wearing peacock feathers in their hair, dressing like Lord Krishna as part of the festive spirit.
Another highlight included a flowered walkway through the spiritual gardens and woodland.
The entire festival was run by 1500 volunteers from the community.