Friday, 18 June 2010

Ratha-yatra on Sunday

We found out last month that the London Ratha-yatra festival, to which so many of our regular chanters go, clashed with our June date, so we've changed our June kirtan to 27th. We hope this doesn't inconvenience anyone.

The annual Ratha-yatra is a colourful and kirtan-exuberant street festival and if you're free on Sunday, you may like to take part. You can find out the details here and here. It's great fun and a tremendous atmosphere. Maybe we'll see you there!

Pictured above is Jahnavi, leading kirtan at last year's festival.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

24 Hour Kirtan in Birmingham

About ten of us Oxfordian chanters went up to Birmingham at the weekend to take part in the eleventh, annual 24 hour kirtan at the Bala temple. We didn't stay the full stint, but it was a really wonderful experience just to sit and chant for seven hours straight. Not just sitting, either - quite a lot of dancing happened too, as we all became swept up in the blissful atmosphere produced by the chanting.

Eleven years ago, these events started as very small affairs, with a small core of dedicated chanters - now they have grown and there were over five thousand people there, this last weekend, taking part. They came from all over the country, many staying in accommodation overnight, so as to stay the whole two days.

The Mayapuris - an up and coming new kirtan group were there, and led kirtans in many different moods. And Sachinandana Swami - a German kirtaniya - was an inspiring speaker and kirtan leader also. A great event altogether, and I'll try in future to let you know about these beforehand so you can come also, if you've a mind! They are a perfect way to recharge one's spiritual batteries.