Devotees who live in less populated areas of Eastern Canada hold weekly in-home programs where they gather to chant the holy names, listen to lectures, and honor prasadam. In this area of Canada, they call themselves ISKCON Maritimes, which comprise of centers in Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton, New Brunswick, and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
On August 7th the region’s second Rathayatra Festival will be held in Fredericton, New Brunswick’s capital city. Devotee’s there are working closely with the Maritime Geeta Bhawan Hindu temple where the event will be held. ISKCON devotees from other Maritime communities such as Moncton, Saint John, Halifax, and New Glasgow will also attend.
In June, of this year, devotees held the region’s first-ever Rathayatra Festival in the little New Brunswick village of Memramcook, which is located near Moncton. It was a small affair, compared to Rathayatras in larger Canadian cities like Montreal and Toronto. But the group of enthusiastic devotees and their friends enjoyed the joyous, historic event.
The first Rathaytra in New Brunswick
“I have been traveling to Atlantic Canada for many years and there is a growing number of dedicated devotees living there who follow Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and are committed to serving Krishna,” said Bhaktimarga Swami, Canada’s walking monk. “They have been working together for several years, in a spirit of co-operation, holding weekly in-home programs and public kirtans, but now are expanding their efforts to organize larger events and festivals.”
Devotees living in Fredericton are anxious to greet and host their Atlantic Canadian ISKCON brothers and sisters during the upcoming Rathayatra. Devotees from Halifax have also invited their regional ISKCON family members to the Nova Scotia capital for their first-ever Janmashtami Festival on August 29th. The event will include cultural performances, kirtan, an abhisheka, and prasadam distribution, and the local devotees are confident that it will help establish a stronger presence for ISKCON in the community.
“During my four marathon walks across this huge country I have come to appreciate the people of Atlantic Canada for their kindness, honesty, hard work, and love of their laid back, east coast lifestyle,” said Bhaktimarga Swami, who has inspired devotees to hold these public festivals. “The devotees are steadily growing the Krishna consciousness movement in their region as evidenced by the small, intimate ISKCON festivals that are being held there for the first time this summer.”
Devotees, from around the world, who would like to support the upcoming Ratha Yatra festival in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada are encouraged to click on the go-fund-me link: https://gofund.me/e190e76a
Memramcook Ratha Yatra footage: https://youtu.be/My3ows2qVjY
To support the upcoming Janmashtami Festival in Halifax, Nova Scotia, please email: [email protected]