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2 September 2010, 18:34
Tens of thousands of people will be visiting the Bhaktivedanta Manor near Watford today (Thursday 2nd) and Sunday (5th) for the start of the Hindu festival of Janmashtami.
More than 55,000 are expected at the temple in Aldenham to celebrate the birth of the Hindu god Lord Krishna.
During the two day festival, which is the largest of its kind in Europe, a thousand children will have their faces painted blue and will wear feathers in their hair to look like the Hindu God and get into the festive spirit.
Then visitors will be taken down a walkway which is covered in flowers, through spiritual gardens and woodland, towards a shrine of Krishna which is decorated in thousands of flowers.
The festival is managed and run by volunteers from the community - the eldest being 96 and the youngest being 16 - who met a month before the actual event to make sure all the preparations are in place.
Janmashtami attracts people of all backgrounds, including politicians, business leaders, faith representative and anyone who would like to know more about Lord Krishna.
Srutidharma das, the Temple President says:
"I am looking forward to see the happy faces of so many children at the festival. The event is the show piece of our devotion to Lord Krishna and that of 1,500 volunteers who have helped to make this festival such a success every year.
“With creativity and devotion, our volunteers have strived to produce yet again something different and spectacular.
“I am sure all our pilgrims and visitors who come will be uplifted spiritually."