Golden Moon Festival (Gaura Purnima)

Families enjoy food in the yard during a festival at Kalachandji Hare Krishna Temple on Oct. 30, 2016 in Dallas.

Ting Shen/The Dallas Morning News

Golden Moon Festival (Gaura Purnima) at

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Hare Krishnas will celebrate the 533rd birthday of Sri Chaitanya, the mystic saint credited with pioneering devotional yoga and starting the practice of kirtan (sacred chanting) — both still done today. The festival will include kirtan, a ceremony, a lecture and a play about Sri Chaitanya, a parade through the neighborhood near the Radha Kalachandji Hare Krishna Temple, more kirtan and a free vegetarian feast.

This year marks the 533rd anniversary of the birth of Sri Chaitanya, the mystic saint who pioneered devotional yoga (Bhakti) in sixteenth-century India and began the practice of congregational chanting (kirtan) that has now spread around the world. Gaura Purnima signifies that the Lord illuminates the world from the darkness of ignorance with the moonlike rays of His sublime teachings. His birth festival is celebrated annually by Krishna devotees all over the world.

The Dallas celebration starts at 6 p.m. in the temple room and will conclude around 9:30 p.m. The evening will start with kirtan (singing of the Lord’s names to music). There will also be a kind of ablution ceremony called abhisheka, in which forms of Caitanya and Nityananda are bathed with a variety of liquids. After there will be a class about Sri Chaitanya, followed by a play. Afterwards there is a parade around the neighborhood with more kirtan accompanied by devotees singing devotional songs, dancing and playing musical instruments. The festival concludes with a multi-course free vegetarian feast at 8 p.m.
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