Skip to content

'Everyone is welcome': Festival of Joy aimed at bringing together the community

'It’s all about bringing the community together,' said local Festival of Joy organizer

Barrie’s Southshore Centre was full of joy this weekend.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Barrie hosted the Festival of Joy on Sunday, Sept. 24, an event aimed at recreating the magic of Janmashtami- Festival of Joy. The event boasted upwards of 200 people, who joined in on the singing, dancing and feasting, said Naina Sharma, a spokesperson for ISKON Barrie.

This year marked the third annual Festival of Joy in Barrie, she noted, adding the event continues to grow, as does word of the welcoming atmosphere that is offered.

“We are celebrating the Festival of Joy and Radha (the goddess of love, tenderness, compassion, and devotion) together - so it’s the Festival of Joy multiplied,” she said. “It’s all about bringing the community together. The beautiful part about the community celebration is that it’s not just for Hindus (as) everyone is welcome. Hare Krishna programs (revolve) around music, dancing and feasting. We are not sectarial  - it is open to everybody and it’s all about bringing joy to the community,” she said. 

The day, added Dishal Das, owner of Gir Farms in Caledon, includes dancing, feasting, and simply being joyous.

“Dancing is part of big congregations getting together. When you’re joyful, you dance, you sing … the joy is just multiplied that much more. It causes the eternal love of Krishna to erupt out of you. The aesthetic dancing … Everybody starts jumping and singing loudly, and it’s a big part of what Hare Krisha’s do. We sing, we chant and we glorify the Lord in that way.”