Lord Chaitanya together with his devotees celebrated many different holidays and festivals. Every year devotees from Bengal so desired to elevate their consciousness by communicating with the Lord, that they walked 500 kilometers to the very heart of Jagannatha Puri and participated in Rathajatra Festival.
So far, it remained the custom that a devotees from other towns are invited to the festivals or that they themselves are spontaneously coming to the spiritual festivals. This is the parampara, this tradition is followed even from Lord Caitanya times.
In sanskrit festivals or holidays are called utsava. Ut means to elavate and sav means everyone. So utsava means to elevate each consciousness. This is the aim of the festival, to elevate person’s transcendental consciousness. When you celebrate a very big festival, then it is called maha utsav or mahotsava.
Vaisnava holidays in particular are designated to praise the Lord, to satisfy him and compleately devote ourselves to him. Usually modern vaisnava festivals consist of several canonical elements: the Lord’s praise with songs and sacred names, with the stories about the Lord, by honoring spiritualized food – prasadam. Remarkably, the true Vaishnavas do in on a daily basis even though it is not always the mass event. Our spiritual master A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada used to say – if I had the money I would make great Hare Krishna festivals each day. On different holidays songs, stories and prasadam honoring can be with the other sanctification elements, such as the deity worship, sacrifice, abstinence from certain things (fasting), various ritual performance, a concert or a cultural program, which is carried out by acting spiritual themes and stories. In short, the promoters can have a lot of creative imagination.
Currently, in Lithuania occures a number of Hare Krishna holidays, festivals and events. It is even difficult to visit all of them. Some are hel outside of the temple, because we simply can not fit. Below are listed the major holidays and where they are usually held:
Gaura Purnima – Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appearence day. Happens in March, mostly in the temple.
Rama Navami – Lord Ramacandra appearance day. It takes place in April, mostly in the temple.
Nrisimha Chaturdasi – Lord Nrisimha appearance day. It takes place in May, mostly in the temple.
Nirjala Pandava Ekadasi – takes place in June. It is in the temple.
Padayatra festival – tour of Lithuania, the public singing of the Holy Names. Ordinarily it takes place in June.
Ratha Yatra – Universe Lord`s chariot festival. It may take place in any summer day on Gediminas str.
Baltic Vaishnava Summer Festival – International Vaishnava communication and inspiration festival, takes place in the second half of the summer mainly somewhere in the country.
Balarama appearance day – ordinarily is held in the temple.
Sri Krishna Janmastami – Lord Krishna appearance day. It takes place in late August or early September. Most often in the temple.
A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada’s appearance day – the appearance day of ISKCON founder acaryas, spiritual master. Takes place immediately after Krishna Janmastami in the temple.
Radhashtami – Srimati Radharani appearance day. It takes place in September, in the temple.
Vamana Dvadaši – Vamanadeva appearance day. It takes place in September, in the temple.
Govardhana and Go puja – the glorification of Govardhana hill and cows. It takes place in October in the temple.
A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada – founder acarya of ISKCON disappearance day. It takes place in November, in the temple.
Gita jayanti – Bhagavad-gita narration Day. It takes place in December, the temple open day.
New mention – is celebrated in the temple.
Vaishnava Baltic Winter Festival – International Vaishnava communication and įsikvėpimo festival takes place in the second half of the winter in the wild in the recreation center.
Advaita Acarya irregularity – Going in January, February, in the temple.
Varahi Dvadaši – Lord Varahadevos irregularity takes place in February, in the temple.
Nityananda Trajodaši – Lord Nityananda irregularity takes place in February, usually the temple.
It is also celebrated:
Acharya and spiritual teachers coming and going daily.
Ekadasi day during which fasting.. It takes place in May, mostly in the temple.