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Swing festival ends, temples close early due to lunar eclipse

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IMG_0075.jpgVrindavan, 2017.08.08 (VT): Shri Radha and Krishna’s annual swing festival ended yesterday on the full moon day (purnima). The swing festival, also known as Hindol Utsav or Jhulan Yatra, started on Hariyali Teej and is one of the most beloved celebrations on Vrindavan’s festival calendar. Dressed in seasonal green, devotees thronged Vrindavan to get a last glimpse of their Beloveds on the swing.

Shri Krishna was offered rakhis in many of the temples, as this day is also the Raksha Bandhan festival. Shri Banke Bihari Lal was offered rakhis made of gold, silver and cloth decorated with zari (fine Persian embroidery). 

Shri Radharaman Lal wore a special crown called Kuleh Chandrika which he only wears on Raksha Bandhan and Deepawali.

Due to a lunar eclipse (chandra grahan) most of the temples closed in the early afternoon and did not open again in the evening, thus cutting short the festivities of swing festival’s last day. A few temples remained open however, so the crowds of devotees satisfied their longing for darshan there.

Eclipses are considered both inauspicious and powerful time for spiritual practice. Many devotees took full advantage of the eclipse by fasting, singing kirtan, chanting jap and bathing in the holy Yamuna river.

The congregational singing for Janmashtami begins today in the Shri Radharaman Temple, and will continue every evening until ashtami.

This evening, special darshans will be presented in the ancient temples of Vrindavan. Deities will be dressed as follows: Shri Govind Dev (Subal Vesh), Gopinath (Vanvihar), Madanmohan (Rai Raja), Radha-Damodar (Shyamsakhi), Shyamsundar (Nauka Vilas), Gokulanand (Raval Raja), Amiya Nimai Mahaprabhu (Naagari Bhav) and Shadbhuj Mahaprabhu (Naagar Bhav).


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