Festival set to attract thousands

Watford, UK - Thousands of people are expected at the festival of Janmashtami with events taking place at the Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna temple in Watford.

The event is one of the largest Hindu gatherings outside India.

The 5,000-year-old festival marks the birth of Lord Krishna, the most highly venerated god in the Hindu pantheon.

The countryside temple is housed in a manor donated to the Hare Krishna movement in the early 1970s by the late Beatle George Harrison.

Attractions include music, dancing and a new complex focusing on compassionate farming and protection of cows.

Organisers said the theme of this year's festival was the "symbiotic relationship that exists between man, cows and the environment", and promised the event would "demonstrate the spiritual variety of India's ancient Vedic culture".

Vedic scriptures teach the importance of cow protection to the welfare of human society.