'Old Wine in New Bottles' - Rethinking Festivals in Tucson
Posted November 3, 2008
Taking a cue from Caru and Vaibhavi in Utah and the tremendous success they're having, we started to envision and realize that it is possible to attract large numbers of westerners to our temples through various festivals. Granted it's a smaller scale than in Utah, but if we can do it in a small town with a handful of devotees, certainly it's possible in temples with more facility.
It starts with a desire to realize Srila Prabhupada's wish to attract westerners to Krsna consciousness through cultural programs. Next comes the strategic plan and it's execution which includes proper advertising and a good, diverse line up of dance, drama and music. Top it off with plenty of good prasada, ecstatic kirtans and a separate kid's entertainment area. Then, you've got a winning combination that's irresistible to the pious masses.
People may come initially for the fire dance but inevitably get engulfed in the spiritual atmosphere and are soon circumambulating Govardhana Hill, dancing and later honoring prasada. We had about 350 people, mostly from local western families, who attended the four hour event. And everyone left with a taste of real spiritual life.
For more inspiration on how to take your festivals up a notch or two, visit Caru in Spanish Fork and catch a bit of his enthusiasm for spreading the Holy Name. Or check out our next event - George Harrison Memorial Festival on Nov. 30th. To share ideas and thoughts on this subject you can write me at Sandaminidd@cs.com.
Pictures by Jim Palka