Hundreds of devotees gathered in Christchurch last Sunday to celebrate Krishna Janamashtami at an event hosted by the city-based social and cultural organisation, Indian Cultural Group (ICG). The event witnessed a public pooja of Ladoo Gopal, with specially made Makhan Matki cake.

Dancers from Revathi Performing Arts – a Bharatnatyam school in Christchurch, also performed a specially choreographed arti pujan on the occasion. ICG's own volunteers performed a version of Krishna rasleela as well.

A matki phod competition – with the traditional makhan replaced by chocolates – was organised too, with Youngistan, an Indian youth group, led by Jeet Gadhvi, winning it. The night ended with dandiya ras. Labour MP Megan Woods was the chief guest at the function.  

“Coordinator for this event was Siya Goyal, who had put in a lot of effort to make this event a reality,” said Sandeep Sachdev, President of ICG.

Meanwhile, the Christchurch Fiji Association has also organised a weeklong Krishna Janamashtami celebration in the city starting this Tuesday. It will end on August 15, with devotees marking the birth of Lord Krishna on the last day.

The same day Hare Krishna Centre Christchurch will also celebrate the festival with “a evening of celebration culminating in a midnight candlelit arti accompanied by sweet melodic kirtan”, the Centre informed.

“Sri Krishna Janamashtami is an annual festival that celebrates the birth of Krishna, the eighth son of Vasudeva and Devaki. It is observed according to Hindu lunar calendar, on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the month of Bhadrapada, which overlaps with August and September of the Gregorian calendar,” it added.