Bhaktivedanta Manor Krishna Temple situated in the Hertfordshire countryside will attract over 65,000 people over two days during this Bank Holiday weekend to celebrate the 5000 year-old Indian festival of Janmashtami.
The kitchens of the Temple will be working 24 hours to prepare free vegetarian meals of everyone who comes the festival. “It is a tradition that all who come to Bhaktivedanta Manor, during Lord Krishna's birthday should receive free food,” said Ajay Kumar, the festival coordinator, “we hope that the efforts of 1500 volunteers over many months will make everyone’s visit very enjoyable.”
Bhaktivedanta Manor was donated by former Beatle George Harrison with 78 acres of land, including formal gardens and a lake. The theme of the festival is food for the body and spirit. There will be demonstrations and tasting tents for different cuisines celebrating vegetarianism and environmentalism. From organic to vegan, from 'happy cow milk' to self-sufficiency, the festival will appeal to the whole family. " Reducing the consumption of meat is the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint," explained Temple spokesman Sita Rama Das. "A 2006 United Nations report found that the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all the vehicles in the world combined. The raising and feeding of livestock also puts a major strain on the food supplies. About 44% of all the grain in the world is used for animal feed.”
Recently Bhaktivedanta Manor was granted permission to build the largest Cow Protection programme in Britain. The manger of this project Shyamsundar Das said that "this is a unique organic and ethical dairy farm, which I hope will be the blue print of other such farms throughout the UK. " Visitors will be able to visit the working farm during the festival.