Janmashtami to be celebrated in House of Commons
The revered festival of Janmashtami will be celebrated in the House of Commons for the first time. The reception to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna will be hosted by the Minster of Transport Tony McNulty and Abhay Lakhani, Parliamentary Adviser on Community Affairs.
The reception on September 7, is expected to be attended by members of the cabinet, the shadow cabinet and members of the Lib Dem party. The event is supported by the National Council of Hindu Temples (UK) and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (UK).
McNulty said: "I announced last year, during the festival of Diwali, that Krishna's birth should be celebrated in the House of Commons and since this year is a leap year, meaning the festival of Janmashtami is later than usual, an ideal opportunity has been presented to observe the festivities during the sitting of parliament in the House of Commons."
Janmashtami is celebrated with great aplomb in temples across the UK, and thousands of Hindus are known to visit the famous Hare Krishna temple in Watford to celebrate the festival.
"I am pleased that the Hare Krishna movement is taking part in organising this wonderful festival, at the House of Commons, which is an occasion for great joy and celebration," said Atmanivedana Swami from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
OP Sharma MBE, the president of the National Council of Hindu temples, said: "This is a wonderful opportunity for the British Hindus to have the festival of Janmashtami celebrated at the House of Commons where people of all faiths and communities will participate. It shows the Hindu community's resolve to integrate with the rest of the society."