"We had over 120 guests for our Sri Janmastami and Nandotsav Festival weekend. The atmosphere was full of happy energy. Diksavati Didi started early on Friday decorating the temple room and prasadam hall. She had all the children picking eucalyptus leaves and Rasangi Didi and Amrtamayi Didi started stringing garlands everywhere. Kalindi Didi got beautiful flowers donated and she made so many vases for the altar and temple room.
"The cooking also started early with Devananda Prabhu (from Australia) and Madhura Priya Didi making gallons and gallons of the most incredible and sweet rasa malai. Kamala made carmel cheesecake and blueberry tapioca pudding. It seemed everyone brought a donation of milk with them, so we made over 25 gallons of paneer!! Suresvari Didi also made her famous Gauranga Potatoes.
"Before the midnight kirttan, the children, organized by Madhumati Didi, performed the play of Lord Krsna dancing on the head of Kaliya - much to the enjoyment of all the guests!
"Sripad Janardan Maharaj, Pusta Krsna Prabhu, and Sarvabhavana Prabhu all spoke so nicely and by midnight we had an incredible kirttan for the curtain opening. The Deities had a beautiful new outfit sewn by Swaranangii Didi and her helpers.
"The next day for Nandotsav and Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa Puja our programme began around 10 a.m. with Sripad Janardan Maharaj chanting the glories of Srila Prabhupada's amazing accomplishments.
"We had a huge kirttan and arotik and then the devotees all took prasadam together. We had chana dahl, sak, aloo sabji, puspanna rice, dahi vada, kacori, chutneys, halavah, sweet rice, cookies, cupcakes, sandesh, gulabjamins, and we even made the Baja Pita from the recipe recently given in the Vaisnava Toshani that Srila Gurudev wanted to cook!
"By the mercy of Srila Gurudev the two festivals were a complete success!"